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Virginia tops Virginia Tech in ACC Tourney opener

uva athleticsVirginia scored the first three runs and held on for a 3-2 victory over Virginia Tech in its opening game of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday at Truist Field.

The Cavaliers will play Notre Dame in their final game of pool play on Friday for an opportunity to advance to the semifinals.

Freshman Kyle Teel gave Virginia (28-22) a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run homer to right field. The long ball was his team-leading eighth of the season. The first year has reached base in 13-straight games and finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Making his first postseason appearance on the mound, UVA starter, Zach Messinger, pitched into the sixth inning and struck out six batters. His only blemish was a two-run homer by Tanner Schobel in the sixth that made it a one run ball game. The righthander struck out the side in the first inning and retired eight of his previous 10 batters before surrendering the homer. Messinger improved to 3-1 on the season.

The Cavaliers utilized four relievers to record the final 11 outs of the ball game. Junior Brandon Neeck got Virginia out of the sixth inning jam, inducing an inning-ending double play. The trio of Blake Bales, Andrew Abbott and Kyle Whitten each tossed a scoreless inning and combined to allow only two runners to reach over the final three innings.

Whitten was credited with his first save of the season after pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The appearance was his 21st of the year.

UVA got on the scoreboard in the second inning after Logan Michaels reached on a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Michaels scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Gelof. The stolen base for Michaels was his third of the year.

The Cavaliers will conclude pool play on Friday against top-seeded Notre Dame at 11 a.m. The contest will decide who advances to the ACC Semifinal.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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