UVA Baseball: First inning runs the difference in 4-2 win over Old Dominion

uva baseballUVA Baseball (17-12) scored three first-inning runs and held on for a 4-2 victory over Old Dominion (16-12) on Tuesday night (April 2) at Disharoon Park. It marked the fourth-straight midweek victory for the Cavaliers.

The first three batters of the game – Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.), Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) and Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) – all reached and eventually scored in a three-run first frame. Rivoli and Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) were credited with run-scoring singles and while Kent scored on a wild pitch.

Morris led the game off with his team-leading, 13th double of the season and went 2-for-4 with a run scored on the night. Rivoli collected his club-best, 13th multi-hit game after a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Morris upped his batting average to .360 while Rivoli is now hitting at a .355 clip, both top-10 in the ACC.

“Overall I thought it was a total team effort,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Our pitching staff was really, really good tonight. I thought we did a masterful job of chopping the game up and every guy that came in really did a nice job for us. The three runs in the first inning proved to be enough but we weren’t as sharp offensively as you’d like to be but that’s a credit to Old Dominion. They did a real nice job pitching against us and made some clutch pitches.”

Freshman Billy Price (Morristown, N.J.) made his first collegiate start and fourth overall appearance of the season. The lefthander sat down the first six batters he faced and struck out two batters in 2.1 innings of work.

Four more Cavalier pitchers pieced together the rest of the ball game. Sophomore Devin Ortiz (Irvington, N.J.) was credited with his second win of the season after pitching 2.2 innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball. He struck out a career-high, three batters and is the only Cavalier pitcher this season not to allow a run.

Righthander Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) was credited with the hold and pitched 1.2 innings of one hit baseball beginning in the seventh. He gave way to Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) in the ninth who went on to retire the final two batters with just five pitches, including a strikeout of the final batter of the game. Abbott earned his first save of the year and seventh of his career.

Virginia will resume Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend with a road series at Notre Dame. The three-game set will begin on Friday (April 5) at 6 p.m. All three games are scheduled to air on ACC Network Extra while Friday and Sunday’s contest will also be live on WINA 1070 AM/98.9 FM.

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