No. 9 Virginia tops Richmond, 8-3

The No. 9 Virginia baseball team wrapped up its 2017 home schedule Tuesday night with an 8-3 win over Richmond at Davenport Field. Virginia (39-12) went undefeated (14-0) in midweek games for the first time since 2011 while concluding the home slate with a 28-6 record.

uva baseballUVA racked up seven runs and nine hits over its final two innings at the plate in breaking a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning. Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.) continued his hot play, going 3-for-4 with his first career two-home run game as well as three runs scored. Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) added three hits as UVA finished with 13 hits.

Making the most of his first college start, Virginia freshman Bobby Nicholson (Charlottesville, Va.) worked 5 1/3 innings and struck out six, both career highs. He allowed a run, six hits and one walk. After allowing five hits in the first two innings, he settled down and retired 10 straight from the second through fifth innings.

Grant Donahue (So., Berlin, Md.) earned his first college win and improved to 1-0 after worked two-thirds of inning of relief, while Tommy Doyle (Jr., Vienna, Va.) tossed the final 1 2/3 innings to notch his 13th save.

Richmond used nine pitchers in the game, with the sixth, Brendan McGuigan (0-2), taking the loss after allowing three runs in the seventh inning.

Richmond got on the board with two outs in the second inning on R.J. Watters’ run-scoring single to left field, but UVA countered in the fourth inning with a solo home run to left field from Simmons.

UVA took the lead for good with a three-run seventh inning. Simmons led off with a home run off the batter’s eye in center field, his eighth homer of the year. It marked the fifth multi-home run game of the year for a UVA player. With two outs and runners at second and third, reliever Jonathan De Marte’s first pitch went to the backstop, allowing Nate Eikhoff (So., Bristow, Va.) to score, and Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) followed with a single to right to plate Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio) for a 4-1 lead.

Richmond scored two runs in a bizarre eighth inning. With one out and runners on first and second, Kyle Adams hit a grounder to first which took a bad hop, sailing over the head of Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) at first base and into right field to score De Marte. The Spiders then loaded the bases with two outs. D.J. Lee struck out on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt, but the ball went to the backstop, with Kyle Schmidt scoring and Lee reaching safely. Doyle rebounded to get a routine fly ball to center field to end the threat and keep the lead in tact.

Virginia batted around and plated four runs in its half of the eighth, doing all of the scoring with two outs. McCarthy lined a two-run single to left, and Haseley and Smith followed with consecutive RBI singles.

Virginia heads to Georgia Tech Thursday through Saturday (May 18-20) for a three-game series to mark the end of regular-season play. The Cavaliers start postseason competition next week at the ACC Baseball Championship in Louisville, Ky.

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