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Duke scores six in ninth, stuns UVA baseball, 9-7

uva baseballDuke scored six runs in the ninth inning to rally and top the UVA baseball team, 9-7, Saturday afternoon in front of a season-high crowd of 4,394 at Davenport Field. Justin Bellinger hit a two-out, two-run single to break a 7-7 tie as the Blue Devils (28-20, 8-17 ACC) evened the series with the Cavaliers (28-19, 11-15) at a game apiece.

Virginia finished with 10 hits, with seven coming from the middle of its batting order. Robbie Coman (Jr., Lake Worth, Fla.) picked up three hits, while Kenny Towns (Sr., Burke, Va.) had a pair of doubles and scored three runs, while Pavin Smith (Fr., Jupiter, Fla.) also had two hits. All seven Virginia runs came with two outs. Duke finished with a season-high 16 hits.

Reliever Alec Bettinger (So., Woodbridge, Va.) took the loss and fell to 3-3 after giving up four runs in the ninth inning. Virginia starting pitcher Brandon Waddell (Jr., Houston, Texas) worked into the eighth inning and totaled seven innings, giving up three earned runs, 10 hits and a walk while striking out four.

Duke reliever Jack Labosky (2-0) earned the win after working 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Kenny Koplove picked up his 11th save by working a perfect ninth inning. Starter Dillon Haviland worked six innings, giving up five earned runs, six hits and four walks with three strikeouts.

Duke rallied from a four-run deficit by sending 10 batters to the plate in a six-run ninth inning. With one out, Max Miller singled home Ryan Day, and six of the next seven Duke batters reached safely. Peter Zyla doubled, and Mike Rosenfeld followed with a two-run double to cut the Blue Devils’ deficit to 7-6. Bettinger hit Cris Perez with the next pitch, and UVa brought in David Rosenberger (Jr., Bethlehem, Pa.). Jalen Phillips slapped a single to left to load the bases and Koplove hit a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game. After Phillips stole second to put runners at second and third, Bellinger cranked a single to right to score both runners and give the Blue Devils the 9-7 lead.

Duke grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Zyla grounded out in the first inning to score Andy Perez, who hit a double to lead off the game. UVa countered with two runs in its half of the first, getting back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Smith and Coman.

The Blue Devils came back with two runs in the second on a two-run double by Perez, but UVa tied the game in the third on a two-out RBI single from Coman.

UVa forged ahead in the fourth inning on a two-run double from Matt Thaiss (So., Jackson, N.J.) and added a pair of runs in the seventh inning on RBI singles from Smith and Joe McCarthy (Jr., Scranton, Pa.).

The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Prior to the game, UVa will hold Senior Day ceremonies.