UVA Baseball: ‘Hoos defeat VCU, head into exam break

uva baseballUVA Baseball (27-20) won its 10th consecutive non-conference game with a 3-2 victory over VCU (30-15) at the Diamond on Tuesday night (April 30).

VCU designated hitter Liam Hibbits spoiled in what otherwise was a magnificent day on the mound for the Virginia pitching staff by cracking a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Ram threat ended there as Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) struck out the final batter of the game for his club-best ninth save of the season.

Virginia starting pitcher Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.), Devin Ortiz (Irvington, N.J.) and Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) combined for 8.1 shutout innings of three-hit baseball.

Ortiz was credited with his fourth win of the season after pitching 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. He retired the first seven batters he faced including the last two of the fourth inning where he stranded a runner in scoring position. He finished with three strikeouts and has not allowed an earned run over his last 10 innings pitched, a span of three outings.

Messinger sat down the first eight batters he faced before issuing a full count walk to nine-hole hitter Alex Taylor. His no-hit bid came to a close on the next batter as Hogan Brown singled up the middle. Messinger totaled 3.1 innings, his second-longest outing of the season and struck out a pair of Ram hitters.

The Cavaliers offense scored three times over its first six turns at the plate. Freshman Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) went 3-for-4 and scored two of the three Cavalier runs. Gelof also swiped his 14th base of the year, moving him into a tie with Jarrett Parker for the third most by a UVA freshman.

Seniors Jack Weiller (Katonah, N.Y.) and Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) each had run scoring hits in the second and sixth innings, respectively. Sophomore Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) drove in the second Virginia run with a single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to six games.

Virginia will have a nine-day break before resuming Atlantic Coast Conference play at Disharoon Park on May 10 against Louisville.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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