Virginia rallies from early 5-0 deficit, tops Liberty in midweek action
Virginia scored six runs in its final three at bats in a 6-5 come-from-behind win over Liberty on Tuesday at Disharoon Park.
Freshman Kyle Teel hit a go-ahead, solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to break a 5-5 tie and complete the comeback.
The homer for Teel was his fifth of the season, moving him into a tie for the team lead. The freshman drove in two runs, one on an RBI groundout in the in the sixth and finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon.
He nearly put the Cavaliers (20-19) on the board in the fourth when his fly ball to left was taken back by Liberty left fielder Aaron Anderson.
The Flames (27-11) did all of their offensive damage in the second inning, plating five runs by sending nine batters to the plate. The first five batters of the frame all came around to score and Liberty capitalized on a pair of Virginia defensive miscues.
The Cavalier bullpen bent, but didn’t break for the remainder of the contest and combined for eight shutout innings. Virginia escaped three bases loaded jams, one in the fifth, another in the sixth and one finally again in the eighth inning.
Closer Stephen Schoch was credited with his second win of the year. He stranded the three runners in the eighth and left the tying run at second base in the top of the ninth.
“That’s not necessarily how you draw it up, I’m just proud of our guys the way we hung in there,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “We found a way to score runs at the end and I thought our bullpen did a pretty good job, walked too many (eight walks) today but pitched around it pretty good. We got some big clutch hits and (Stephen) Schoch was really good there at the end.”
The first three spots in the Virginia lineup were responsible for seven of the 10 Cavalier hits. Senior Brendan Rivoli put together his team-leading 16th multi-hit game and finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI.
Rivoli plated Virginia’s first run with an RBI double in the sixth and then tied the game in the seventh with a two-RBI single to right center that scored Zack Gelof and Max Cotier.
Gelof had three hits on the night from the leadoff spot, his fourth three-hit game of the season. Cotier scored twice in the contest and finished 2-for-3 with a walk.
Sophomore Matt Wyatt did the bulk of the heavy lifting on the mound, logging a season-high 3.1 innings. The righthander struck out a career-high six batters including three in the third inning.
Wyatt was the pitcher of record in the first meeting against Liberty, a 10-2 loss.
Freshman Luke Schauer and Kyle Whitten each threw 1.1 scoreless innings. Schauer matched a season-high with three strikeouts.
The Cavaliers will be on the road this weekend to take on No. 22 Virginia Tech beginning Friday in Blacksburg.
The entire series will air live on ACC Network beginning Friday at 7 p.m.