Virginia baseball shuts out UNC in ACC series opener
Virginia (20-14, 7-9 ACC) blanked No. 22 North Carolina (22-12, 10-6 ACC), 4-0 in the opening game of a three-game ACC series at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers registered their sixth shutout of the season and third in ACC play.
Senior Derek Casey (Mechanicsville, Va.) pitched six clean innings to earn his team-best, fifth victory of the season. The right-hander scattered seven Tar Heel hits, had only one, 1-2-3 inning and struck out a season-low four batters. The reigning ACC co-Pitcher of the Week has now pitched 15-straight scoreless innings.
“Really a great way to start the series off, I thought Derek Casey really grinded and made some big pitches with runners in scoring position,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “North Carolina has a tough offense, a great mix of right and left-handed hitters and I thought Derek did a nice job leading this team.
Freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) came on and retired all nine batters he faced to earn his fourth save of the year. He matched a season-best with five strikeouts in three innings of work.
The Cavaliers built a 3-0 lead over the first three innings of play. Junior Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio), who had a career-best four hits in his last ACC game, plated the first Virginia run with a double into the right center field gap, scoring Caleb Knight (Checotah, Okla.). A batter later, Virginia was up 2-0 after Charlie Cody (Chesapeake, Va.) scored on a wild pitch.
Comer finished the night with two hits, his fifth multi-hit effort of the season.
In the third inning, Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) roped a one-out triple to right center field and scored a batter later on an Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) RBI single up the middle. The triple for Eikhoff was his fourth of his career and first since April 19, 2016. Tappen has driven in 12 runs in his last six games and brought his total up to 25 of the season, second highest on the team.
Virginia added a run in the bottom of the sixth, capitalizing on the one of two North Carolina fielding errors. Cayman Richardson (Mechanicsville, Va.) came all the way around from first base after an Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) single that was booted in right field to make the score 4-0.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday (April 14) beginning at 1 p.m.