Home #10 Virginia defeats #23 NC State, 9-5, to even up weekend ACC series

#10 Virginia defeats #23 NC State, 9-5, to even up weekend ACC series

uva logo blue The rehab of Joe Savino reached a new milestone, with the righty going five innings for the first time this season for #10 Virginia in a 9-5 win over #23 NC State on Saturday.

Savino (1-1, 1.38 ERA) gave up a run on three hits, a walk, two hit batters, and struck out three in his outing, in which he threw 79 pitches, 53 for strikes.

This, after Savino had to labor through a 30-pitch first inning in which the Pack (28-19, 14-11 ACC) loaded the bases, before Savino worked his way out of the inning with no damage.

UVA (37-13, 15-11 ACC) scored two in the third, on an RBI double from Griff O’Ferrall and an RBI single from Bobby Whalen, and made it 3-0 in the fourth an RBI double from Henry Godbout.

Savino got into two-out trouble in the NC State fifth, with Eli Serrano knocking in a run to get the Pack on the board, Garrett Pennington reaching base on an HBP, before Savino got Alec Makarewicz to fly out to center to end that threat.

Virginia got that run back, and more, in the bottom half of the fifth, on a two-run homer from Henry Ford and a solo shot one batter later from Jacob Ference.

State made things interesting in the eighth, with an RBI single from Makarewicz and an RBI fielder’s choice from Brandon Butterworth that cut the deficit to 6-3.

Virginia, again, had the response, with a two-out rally featuring a two-run single from Whalen, and a Casey Saucke RBI double.

Pennington tacked on a two-run homer in the ninth from Pennington to close out the scoring.

The story of this game was Savino, who looked quite good in his fifth start of 2024 – his previous starts had gone one inning, one inning, two innings and four innings.

It’s pretty much to a point where UVA coach Brian O’Connor can pencil in Savino as his #2 starter, behind Evan Blanco (5-3, 4.21 ERA).

And yes, it’s just short of remarkable that O’Connor has this team 37-13 through 50 games with the starting rotation still unsettled at this late juncture.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].