UVA Baseball: ‘Hoos sweep two from ‘Nova
Virginia (3-3) climbed to the .500 mark with a 7-2 win in game one and a 7-3 victory in game two of a doubleheader against Villanova (0-5). The Cavaliers came from behind in both contests and improve to 3-0 at Disharoon Park this week.
Virginia racked up 20 hits including the season’s first three home runs in their first doubleheader sweep since 2015.
Virginia came into Friday without a long ball on the season and blasted three in two games against the Wildcats. Senior Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.) and Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) each went yard in game one while a solo shot by Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) tied game two up at three in the bottom of the eighth.
Virginia starting pitcher Griff McGarry (Portola Valley, Calif.) established career highs in both innings pitched (6.0) and strikeouts (9) in his second start of the season. He was credited with his first collegiate win and recorded the first quality start of his UVA tenure, allowing just two hits and an earned run. Both Wildcat hits off him ricocheted off the second base bag, including the game’s first hit, a two-out single that scored a run in the top of the third.
After leaving a runner in scoring position in their first three innings, the Cavaliers broke through with a five-run, fifth inning. Virginia took the lead on a sacrifice fly by Morris and Simmons blasted a no-doubter to the top of the left field bleachers for a three-run homer, making the score 5-1.
Tappen led off the bottom of the fifth with a screaming line drive that hit the facing of the left field bleachers for his fifth career home run.
Six of the nine batters in the UVA lineup recorded a hit, including multi-hit efforts from Simmons, Tappen and Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.)
Villanova took its first lead of the day in the top of the seventh inning on a two-out RBI single by Nick Larusso. The Wildcat designated hitter drove in three of the five Villanova runs on the day. The Wildcats scored all five runs between the two games with two outs.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Morris tied the game with one swing on a solo shot that landed between the right field scoreboard and the Virginia bullpen. The homer was his third of his career.
A batter later sophomore Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) hustled for a one-out double to left and eventually came around on a Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) single through the right side, giving Virginia the lead for good.
In total the Cavaliers sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs on six hits to open up a 7-3 advantage.
Sophomore Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) locked down the final four outs of the game to earn his first win of the season. The lefthander stranded two runners in the top of the eighth before working a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Virginia starting pitcher Mike Vasil (Wellesley, Mass.) did not factor in the decision but tossed 4.2 innings of two-hit baseball. He struck out four batters and allowed only one earned run.
Virginia and Villanova will conclude the three-game series on Sunday (Feb. 24) at 1 p.m. The Cavaliers will send Noah Murdock (0-0) to the mound who will be opposed by Wildcat righty Gordon Graceffo (0-1).
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