Virginia rallies late to even series at Louisville

virginia baseballVirginia (23-17, 8-12 ACC) starting pitcher Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) and reliever Bennett Sousa (North Palm Beach, Fla.) shut down Louisville (26-12, 10-10 ACC) over the final six innings in a 5-4 come-from-behind win at Jim Patterson Stadium.

After Lynch walked the first batter of the top of the eighth inning, Sousa came on and struck out the side, stranding Cardinal runners at first and third base. In the ninth, the lefthander struck out all three batters he faced to record the six-out save. He has fanned 48 batters in 33.1 innings pitched this season.

Trailing 4-2, the Cavaliers sent eight batters to the plate in a three-run, sixth inning to take the lead for good. Cayman Richardson (Mechanicsville, Va.) started the game-changing inning with a two-run, two-out single that scored Charlie Cody (Chesapeake, Va.) and Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.). Richardson scored on the ensuing at bat, a single up the middle by Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio), making the score 5-4 in favor of Virginia.

Lynch kept the Louisville bats quiet between the fourth and seventh innings, facing just 13 batters. He got defensive help from his catcher Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) in the fifth who cut down a Cardinal runner attempting to steal third and then from Richardson in the sixth who started an 8-4-5 putout that caught Friday night’s hero, Danny Oriente, attempting stretch a double into a triple. The outfield assist from Richardson was one of two on the day.

Lynch was credited with his third win of the season and produced his sixth quality start (fifth in ACC play). Only two of the four runs he gave up were earned and he fanned a total of four batters. Lynch has pitched into the eighth inning four times this season, including three of his last four starts.

The Cavalier 2-through-4 hitters were responsible for six of the 11 hits on the day. Richardson, Weber and freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) each went 2-for-5 in the contest.

Getting his second-straight start at designated hitter, Devin Ortiz went 1-for-3 and plated the second Cavalier run of the afternoon on an RBI ground out in the fourth. The Cavaliers capitalized on a dropped fly ball by starting pitcher Nick Bennett in the top of the second to get on the scoreboard. Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) scored all the way from second on the pop up.

The rubber game of the three-game ACC series is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday (April 22). Cavalier sophomore Noah Murdock (Colonial Heights, Va.) is slated to make his first start of the season and he will be opposed by right-hander Bobby Miller.


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