UVA Baseball: ‘Hoos take series opener with #15 North Carolina
UVA Baseball (25-18, 9-12 ACC) won its fourth-straight game with a 12-5 victory over No. 15 North Carolina (31-12, 13-9 ACC) on Friday night at Boshamer Stadium. The Cavaliers scored 11 of the game’s final 12 runs.
Sophomores Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) and senior Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) each collected base knocks to pace a 13-hit Virginia attack. Morris reached four times went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Rivoli drove in three runs on a 3-for-5, two-double effort.
Trailing 2-1 going into the top of the fifth, Virginia finally broke through against North Carolina starter Tyler Baum. The Cavaliers sent eight men to the plate and scored three times to take a 3-2 lead. The big hit in the frame came off the bat of Morris who smacked a bases loaded single down the left field line. Up until the three-run rally, Baum had retired 11-straight Virginia batters.
The Tar Heels answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fifth to knot the score up at four.
Virginia took the lead for good in the sixth with a two-out, three-run rally. After Morris drew a bases loaded walk, freshman Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) delivered a single through the left side that scored two runs and gave Virginia a 7-4 advantage.
A 21-minute power outage with one out and two runners on in the bottom seventh inning proved to be a turning point in the game for the Cavaliers. After power was restored, Paul Kosanovich (Temple City, Calif.) struck out the final two Tar Heel batters of the frame to end the UNC scoring threat.
The Cavaliers blew the game open in the top of the eighth with five runs on five hits. A total of 10 batters came to the plate as Virginia capitalized on two of North Carolina’s four errors on the night with three unearned runs.
Senior Noah Murdock (Colonial Heights, Va.) was credited with his third win of the season after working 5.1 innings. He struck out a career-high eight batters, including two in second, third and fourth innings.
The two teams will return to Boshamer Stadium on Saturday (April 27) for the middle game of a three-game set. The Cavaliers will have Griff McGarry on the hill and he will be opposed by RHP Austin Bergner. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.