Nicholson solid again in mid-week win for #19 Virginia

uva baseballFreshmen Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) and Andrew Papantonis (Glen Gardner, N.J.) each homered and drove in three runs for Virginia (9-4) in a 12-1 midweek win over Davidson (8-4).

The Cavaliers broke the game open in the fifth inning when Morris and Papantonis fueled a four-run rally. Morris made the score 7-1 with his first career home run that landed in Virginia’s bullpen in right field. A batter later as a pinch-hitter, Papantonis launched not only his first career homer but his first collegiate hit into the left field bleachers to put the Cavaliers in front, 9-1.

Papantonis was one of five Cavaliers to put forth multi-hit efforts. The freshman went 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored. Making his eighth-straight start at shortstop, Morris was 1-for-3 and now has seven RBI in 11 games played.

“This was an important game for us to come out and play well,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I thought Bobby (Nicholson) got us off to a great start but certainly we were focused offensively and it was a great day for us.”

Last week’s starter in Virginia’s combined no-hitter against William & Mary, Bobby Nicholson (Charlottesville, Va.) earned his first career win after pitching five innings of two-hit baseball against Davidson. The game’s first batter, Cam Johnson, ended the no-hit bid early with a double down the left field line. He later came around to score the Wildcats’ only run of the game on a Virginia fielding error.

After the unearned run scored, Nicholson sat down 12-straight batters and surrendered just one hit over his next four frames. He struck out a batter in each inning he pitched, finishing the day with a season-high five.

Freshman Griff McGarry (Portola Valley, Calif.) and Blake Rohm (Superior, Colo.) combined for four shutout innings of relief.

Senior Caleb Knight (Checotah, Okla.) was busy on the base paths, scoring four times in a 2-for-2 day at the plate. He reached base four times and has now reached safely in 13-straight games. Classmate Justin Novak (Tokyo, Japan) went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and extended his hit streak to 11 games.

Junior Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) hustled out a pair of doubles in his sixth multi-hit game of the season. He finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored and stole his ACC-leading, eighth base of the season.

The Cavaliers will begin ACC play this weekend when they travel to Durham, N.C. for a three-game weekend series against Duke. The opener is set for Friday (March 9) at 6 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. All three contests will be carried live on ACC Network Extra.

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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