No. 16 UVA tops Duke, 13-6, to take weekend series
The No. 16 UVA baseball team clinched its first ACC series win of the season Sunday afternoon with a 13-6 triumph over Duke at Davenport Field. After absorbing a big loss in the series opener Friday, the Cavaliers (19-6, 4-5 ACC) rebounded for 26 runs and 34 hits the next two days to roll to victories in the final two games as UVA secured its ninth straight series win against the Blue Devils (13-13, 4-5).
“The first ACC series win was big for us,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “It wasn’t how you would draw it up, getting beat like we did on Friday and then to come back and win the last two like we did, but I think there are good lessons there that our guys are learning. I thought the last two days our competitive spirit was better than it had been in some of the previous games. Even within this game, Adam Haseley gave up three runs in the top of the first inning, and we responded back and got five runs (in the bottom of the inning) and continued to play a good ballgame all the way through.
“I’m really proud of our guys. We learned this weekend what we need to do to be a little bit better in this league, and it’s a continued learning process.”
Haseley was the winning pitcher and also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI while scoring three runs. On the mound, he bounced back after giving up a pair of homers and three runs in the first inning to work six innings, allowing four runs, nine hits and a walk while striking out five. Haseley improved to 4-1 on the season with the win. After Chesdin Harrington (So., Montpelier, Va.) fired a perfect seventh inning, Tommy Doyle (Jr., Vienna, Va.) pitched the final two innings for his sixth save.
UVA finished with 14 hits, with eight of the nine starters picking up at least one hit. Cameron Simmons (Jr., Royersford, Pa.) was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio) drove in three runs.
Duke starter Graeme Stinson (2-1) did not record an out and faced just five batters in the first inning, allowing a pair of walks and hitting two batters while also giving up an RBI single to Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.). All five batters came around to score.
Duke struck first with a three-run opening inning as Griffin Conine cranked a two-run homer to right and Michael Smiciklas followed one out later with a solo blast.
Virginia quickly countered, sending 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning and taking advantage of Stinson’s wildness. He was lifted in favor of Bill Chillari with the bases loaded and none out after UVA cut the deficit to 3-2. Weber hit a sac fly to tie the game, and Caleb Knight (Jr., Checotah, Okla.) stroked a run-scoring single to left. Nate Eikhoff (So., Bristow, Va.) followed with an RBI groundout to give UVA a 5-3 lead.
UVA added a run in the second on a two-out RBI single from Simmons. Duke answered in the fourth with doubles from Peter Zyla and Max Miller.
The Cavaliers pushed their lead to 7-4 with Eikhoff’s RBI double in the sixth, but Duke again closed within two runs in the eighth as Jack Labosky doubled and later scored on a Doyle wild pitch.
UVA blew the game open with a six-run eighth inning, including a two-run single from Haseley and a two-run triple from Weber.
Virginia travels to Richmond at 7 p.m. Tuesday to play VCU at The Diamond before returning home next weekend (Friday through Sunday) for a three-game ACC series with No. 1 Louisville.