No. 11 UVA blanks Notre Dame, wins ACC weekend series

uva notre dameThe No. 11 UVA baseball team scored six runs in the first inning to jump to an early lead and got great pitching from Noah Murdock and Alec Bettinger in a 9-0 win over Notre Dame Saturday in rainy conditions at Davenport Field. Virginia (33-10, 12-9 ACC) won the weekend series, two games to one, as all three games were completed in just over 22 hours because of impending weather.

Recording its third shutout of the year, Virginia earned its third straight ACC series win and improved to 13-3 in the month of April.

“Our guys responded like we needed to and won a key ACC series,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Noah Murdock pitched around some walks. He’s learning and growing, and he didn’t let those walks beat him. He managed to pitch around them and give us a great, quality start. I’m proud of our guys for finding a way to win the series.”

Virginia limited Notre Dame (18-22, 8-13) to five hits. Murdock (Fr., Colonial Heights, Va.) worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and four walks with three strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 2-1. Bettinger (Sr., Woodbridge, Va.) shut the Fighting Irish down over the final 2 2/3 innings.

Notre Dame starter Brad Bass (2-6) took the loss, allowing nine runs (six earned), eight hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings.

Virginia once again had balance throughout the lineup, finishing with 13 hits while eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit. Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs, while Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.) also picked up three hits. Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) and Caleb Knight (Jr., Checotah, Okla.) each homered for UVA.

Knight was 4-for-8 in the series and reached base in eight of his 12 plate appearances. Simmons (6-for-13) and McCarthy (5-for-11) also had strong series at the plate.

Virginia wasted no time in taking a commanding lead as the Cavaliers batted around and scored six runs in the first. The first five UVA batters reached base. Ernie Clement (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.) and Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio) hit back-to-back doubles, and Haseley followed with a two-run homer to the top row of bleachers in right field. It was Haseley’s 12th home run, the most at UVA since Jarrett Parker hit 16 in 2009.

With runners on second and third and one out, Simmons reached on a throwing error, with Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) scoring on the play. Simmons and Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.) then combined on a double steal, with Simmons swiping second while Coman slide home safely. McCarthy then singled to right to plate Simmons for a 6-0 lead.

UVA tacked on three runs while again batting around in the third inning. Knight hit a one-out solo home run to left-center, his fourth home run of the year. McCarthy pushed the lead to 9-0 when he lined a triple down the right-field line. It was his league-leading fifth triple of the season.

That was more than enough support for Murdock, who induced double-play balls in the second, third and fourth innings and retired seven straight batters from the fourth through sixth innings.

Virginia remains home Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game with Radford before heading on the road next weekend for a three-game ACC series at Florida State.