McGarry, eighth-inning homers, power Virginia to Game 2 win, 4-0

griff mcgarry
Griff McGarry pitched seven scoreless innings in Virginia’s 4-0 win in Game 2 of the Super Regional series with Dallas Baptist. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

A pair of eighth-inning home runs, and a career effort from Griff McGarry, pushed Virginia to a 4-0 win over Dallas Baptist in Game 2 of the teams’ Super Regional series on Sunday.

The win for UVA forces a deciding Game 3 on Monday at 1 p.m.

McGarry was lights out all afternoon, striking out 10 and walking two in seven-plus innings before having to leave with a cut on his right ring finger in the top of the eighth.

DBU didn’t get its first hit until the seventh inning as McGarry looked nothing like the guy who had come in with an 0-5 record and 7.53 ERA.

The righty allowed four baserunners in seven-plus – his WHIP coming in was a ghastly 2.34.

It was also the longest outing of the season for the senior, whose previous best was a five-inning start way back on Feb. 27 in a 2-1 loss at UNC.

For all the heroics from McGarry, it was still nil-nil into the bottom of the eighth, because as good as McGarry was, Dallas Baptist starter Rhett Kouba was just as good.

Kouba had shut out Virginia on four hits and a single base on balls through seven, but Zack Gelof would lead off the eighth with a solo homer to left to break the deadlock.

Kouba then got Max Cotier to ground out, but Kyle Teel singled, and Kouba was lifted for reliever Kragen Kechely.

Marc Lebreaux, pinch-running for Teel, was injured on a pickoff attempt when first baseman Andres Sosa spiked his hand as Lebreaux was diving back to first base.

A review that had apparently been initiated to check if Lebreaux had been tagged out before getting to the base ended with a determination that Sosa had been guilty of obstruction, sending Lebreaux to second.

Devin Ortiz then walked on a 3-2 pitch to put runners at first and second with one down, ahead of a Nic Kent swinging strikeout for out number two.

Alex Tappen, yesterday’s goat, after being called out in the eighth on an apparent hit-by-pitch, on which it was ruled that he had leaned into the pitch, quelling a UVA rally, came up big this time in the eighth, ripping an 0-2 pitch into the left field seats for a three-run homer that made it 4-0.

Dallas Baptist would not go down quietly. Pinch-hitter Jace Grady led off the ninth with a single off reliever Brandon Neeck, who would be lifted for righty Kyle Whitten.

Whitten promptly walked Andrew Benefield before getting Kyle Wrobleski on a close 3-2 fastball for a called strike three for out number one.

Whitten then struck out Cole Moore looking for out number two, and had a 1-2 count on catcher Christian Boulware, before Boulware pulled a grounder through the five hole into left to load the bases.

DH George Sprecht, the tying run at the plate, flew out to right on an 0-1 pitch to end it.

Story by Chris Graham


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