Ninth inning rally clinches weekend series for Virginia
Virginia (24-17, 9-12 ACC) rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning to stun Louisville (26-13, 10-11 ACC), 2-1 at Jim Patterson Stadium. The comeback victory was the 12th of the season for the Cavaliers.
Going into the ninth inning, Louisville starting pitcher Bobby Miller had allowed just three hits and retired 19 of the previous 20 Cavalier hitters. He was lifted after surrendering a one-out base hit to Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio).
After Cardinal reliever Reid Detmers induced a fly out for the second out of the inning, the Cavaliers were down to their last out with freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) at the plate. With a 1-2 count against him, Tappen lined a pitch into the left centerfield gap, scoring Weber all the way from first base.
The next batter, Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.), gave the Cavaliers the lead with an RBI single to right centerfield, plating Tappen for the go-ahead run. The game-winning hit was Rivoli’s second of the week, after doubling home the game-winning run against George Washington on Tuesday (April 17).
Virginia closer Bennett Sousa (North Palm Beach, Fla.) worked the final 1.2 innings and was credited with his fourth win of the season. He started a 1-2-3 double play to help the Cavaliers escape a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth. In the ninth, he stranded a pair of runners and induced a game-ending ground out. He pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief in back-to-back games against the Cardinals.
The only Louisville run of the game came on a two-out RBI single by Devin Mann in the bottom of the third inning.
Including Sousa, the Cavaliers used a combination of five pitchers in the contest. Sophomore Noah Murdock (Colonial Heights, Va.) made his first start of the season and pitched two shutout innings. He gave way to Bobby Nicholson (Charlottesville, Va.), Riley Wilson (Midlothian, Va.) and Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) before Sousa closed out the game.
Wilson and Abbott combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits. The five Cavalier pitchers held Louisville to nine hits and just three over the final five innings.
The Cavaliers will wrap up their four-game road trip on Tuesday (April 24) when they play Old Dominion at Harbor Park in Norfolk. First pitch is scheduled for noon. Virginia will be back at Disharoon Park this weekend with a three-game series against Clemson beginning Friday (April 27).