UVA Baseball: ‘Hoos complete mid-week sweep of Wagner
Wagner jumped out to the early lead by plating two unearned runs in the top of the first inning. The Seahawk advantage was short-lived as Virginia rattled off 14 of the game’s next 16 runs to put the contest out of reach, including a season-best six in the bottom half of the first.
“Today with the weather, it’s tough conditions,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I don’t know if it’s more difficult on the pitching to stay warm but it seemed that our guys that went out for a second inning had a tough time. I’d like to see us play more efficient, but I think it was good to get the two ball games in and we’re looking forward to starting conference play against Duke (this weekend).”
Sophomore Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) put forth his team-best, seventh multi-hit effort by going 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.) blasted his second home run of the season, a three-run shot, to make the score 14-4 in the bottom of the third inning. He finished the day 1-for-4, scored three runs and collected a total of four RBI.
Lead-off man Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) matched a season-high with four RBI and sophomore Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored. Freshman Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) rounded off six multi-hit performers with a 2-for-3 day. He reached base a total of four times scored two runs and drove in a pair.
Neither starting pitcher made it out of a first inning that saw eight runs between the two teams. Sophomore Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) was credited with his first win at UVA after pitching a total of three innings of scoreless baseball from the third to the sixth innings.
Wagner pitchers struggled with control, issuing 10 walks and a hit by pitch in eight innings of work. Reliever Nick LePre got things under control after coming on in the fifth. The right-hander limited Virginia to a pair of hits, no runs and did not walk a batter over three innings.
Sophomore Devin Ortiz (Irvington, N.J.) helped stave off a late Wagner charge, recording the final four outs of the game. The Seahawks scored the four runs in the top of the eighth inning to pull within five runs before Ortiz came in and recorded the final out of the frame. He faced four batters in the ninth to seal the victory. The appearance on the mound was the first of the season for the righthander.
Virginia will commence Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend and wrap up a season-long, 13-game home stand when Duke comes to Disharoon Park for a three-game series. The first game is slated for 4 p.m. on Friday (March 8).