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Baseball: Late homers lift Virginia past Clemson, evening weekend ACC series

uva athleticsA solo homer from Zack Gelof broke a seventh inning tie, and a three-run shot from Chris Newell added insurance in the eighth, in an 8-4 Virginia win at Clemson on Saturday night.

The duo each went 2-for-5 with a home run in the contest. Newell matched a career-high with five RBI, most by a Virginia hitter this season.

Newell and Gelof were also responsible for Virginia’s first three runs of the game. Newell hustled out a two-run, two-out triple in the second inning, and Gelof plated him with an RBI single to give Virginia the early 3-0 advantage.

The Gelof go-ahead homer lined up starting pitcher Mike Vasil (5-2, 2.98 ERA) for his team-leading fifth win of the season. The righthander pitched into the seventh inning for the third-straight outing.

Vasil finished his day with eight strikeouts, one shy of his season-high.

Junior Blake Bales pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings to preserve the victory. He has now pitched 24.1 innings this season without surrendering a run.

Clemson chipped away and eventually erased Virginia’s 3-0 lead on a solo home run by Kier Meredith in the fifth. The Cavaliers responded in the top of the sixth with another two-out base hit, this time off the bat of Tate Ballestero who came on as a pinch hitter. The Tigers continued the seesaw affair by tying up the game at five on a leadoff home run by Adam Hackenberg in the sixth.

Sophomore Nate Savino (1-1, 1.93 ERA, 14.0 IP, 5 BB, 12 SO) will make his first ACC start of the year on Sunday, and he will be opposed on the mound by Clemson righty Nick Hoffman (3-0, 4.57 ERA, 21.2 IP, 1 BB, 16 SO). The series finale is set to air on ESPN2 with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.


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augusta free press news


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