Home #10 Virginia gets homers from Ference, Becker, but drops opener to NC State, 7-5
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#10 Virginia gets homers from Ference, Becker, but drops opener to NC State, 7-5

Chris Graham
baseball
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A three-run homer from Jacob Ference put Virginia up in the first, but NC State knocked around the UVA bullpen on its way to a 7-5 series-opening win at The Dish on Friday night.

State (28-18, 14-10 ACC) got a pair of unearned runs off Virginia starter Evan Blanco in the fifth, with the opening being a routine fly ball that rightfielder Casey Saucke just plain dropped.

Blanco would get chased after giving up a two-out solo homer to Brandon Butterworth on his 107th pitch of the night.

Credit to the Wolfpack hitters for working counts on Blanco, who only walked two, gave up six hits and struck out eight, but needed to make a ton of extra pitches to get outs.

Chase Hungate (6-1, 3.46 ERA) gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Luke Nixon and Alex Sosa that put the Pack on top, 5-3.

Jay Woolfolk gave up a two-run bomb to Garrett Pennington in the eighth that made it 7-3.

That one proved to be huge in the bottom half of the eighth when nine-hole hitter Eric Becker hit a two-run shot to left-center that got the margin back down to two.

Virginia (36-13, 14-11 ACC) left Griff O’Ferrall on third to end that rally, then went down in order in the ninth.

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].