Virginia splits Saturday doubleheader with Bucknell
The ‘Hoos (4-3) won the opener 14-3 behind a solid effort from Mike Vasil (1-0, 1.80 ERA), who struck out 10 in six innings of work, giving up a run on four hits.
Sophomore Nic Kent led the way for the everyday guys with a 4-for-5, three-RBI effort. Chris Newell, Zack Gelof and Christian Hlinka each went deep in the contest.
For Hlinka and Newell the home runs were the first of their careers. Newell finished a triple shy of the cycle and reached base four times while driving in a pair of runs. Gelof’s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth gave Virginia a commanding 8-0 lead.
In Game 2, the Cavaliers were victims of back-to-back five-run innings by the Bucknell attack in the sixth and seventh innings. The Bison combination of Chris Cannizzaro and Jake Wortman combined to go 5-for-10 with two home runs and nine RBI.
Gelof and Hlinka each hit their second home runs of the day in the loss. Gelof hit a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, and Hlinka went yard in the seventh. In the two games,
Gelof was 4-for-7 with a double, triple, two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored.
The loss in the second game snapped a 15-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents. The Cavaliers erupted for a season-high 14 runs on 14 hits in the first game.
Virginia brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with one out in the second game but couldn’t scratch away the four-run deficit.
“I thought we did a really good job in our starting (pitching) performance in Game 1, but didn’t do what we needed to do on the mound in Game 2,” UVA coach Brian O’Connor said. “I thought Bucknell was ferocious in that second game, they just kept coming at us and we just couldn’t put them away.
The two teams will close out the series on Sunday (Feb. 23) at 1 p.m. Freshman lefthander Nate Savino will make his first collegiate start and he will be opposed by Bucknell southpaw Tyler Rigot.