Virginia baseball escapes GW with 12th inning walkoff
With the score tied at two in the bottom of the 12th, fellow first-year Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) skied a pop up to the pitcher’s mound that dropped in the middle of five George Washington infielders. Hustling out of the box, Tappen’s pop fly would officially go down as a double and more importantly put the winning run second base with no outs.
Rivoli, who roped the game-tying double in the ninth inning of a win over Virginia Tech nine days ago, was at center stage again with one out in the bottom of the 12th. The designated hitter lined the first pitch he saw down the left field line that sliced far enough away from a diving Colin Brophy in left field. With two hits in the victory, Rivoli has five multi-hit performances in his last eight games.
“We were fortunate to find a way to win the ball game,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I’m proud of our guys, we hung in there and continued to pitch and play good defense in the back part of the game and eventually (Brendan) Rivoli came through again.”
Freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.), who came on to pitch in the 10th inning, was dominant in his 15th appearance of the season. He sat down all nine batters he faced and matched a season-high with five strikeouts. He was credited with his third win of the season and has not allowed a base runner in his last six innings pitched.
George Washington tied the game up in the top of the eighth inning after Isiah Pasteur led off the frame with a triple, his fifth of the season. A batter later, Robbie Metz singled up the middle to knot the game at two.
Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) provided the early offensive firepower for the Cavaliers. He evened the game at one with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the third inning that scored Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio). In the fifth, he found himself in the same position, this time singling home Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) with two outs to give Virginia a 2-1 advantage.
Eikhoff was 2-for-6 with two RBIs on the night. He has driven in 28 runs this season, the second most on the team.
Morris singled in his first three at bats and went 3-for-5 with a run scored. The first-year shortstop has five, three-hit outbursts this season and four have come in the last eight games.
Virginia starting pitcher Bobby Nicholson (Charlottesville, Va.) matched a career-high with six innings pitched. He did not allow a George Washington hit until the fifth inning and surrendered only an unearned run in the top of the third. He finished the game with four strikeouts.
The Cavaliers will be back at home on Wednesday night when they host Liberty at Disharoon Park. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.