The Virginia baseball team took games one and two of the weekend series against the Miami Hurricanes to win their fourth ACC series in four tries. The Cavaliers used big innings on Friday and Saturday to crush the Hurricanes 15-4 and 8-1, respectively. The Hurricanes squeaked out a 4-3 win on Sunday to prevent the sweep.
On Friday, the Wahoos took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth where they blew it open with a 9-run inning to reach the 15-4 final score. Sophomore Brandon Downes hit a three-run homer and freshman Joe McCarthy added a two-RBI double, both as part of the big inning. But it was Mike Papi that had the crowd buzzing for most of the game. The sophomore from Pennsylvania went 4-4 on the day, including three doubles. Junior pitcher Austin Young took the win for Virginia in relief of the starter, freshman Brandon Waddell. Freshmen Nathan Kirby and David Rosenberger and junior Kyle Crockett also contributed out of the pen.
Saturday's game featured less than half as many total runs as Friday, but that doesn't mean there weren't fireworks. Once again, the Cavaliers used a big eighth inning to turn a comfortable 4-1 lead into an 8-1 blowout. Sophomores Kenny Towns, Papi, Nick Howard and Brandon Cogswell all singled during the inning while senior Reed Gragnani added a double. Senior pitcher Scott Silverstein got the win on the back of a 9 K, 6.2-inning start. Crockett and fellow junior Whit Mayberry pitched well in relief. Mayberry picked up the save, his second of the season.
Sunday's game started off in an ominous way with the Hurricanes notching four runs on four hits and a walk in the top of the first inning against starter Nick Howard. Howard would give up only one more hit - the leadoff batter in the fifth inning, and the bullpen allowed none. But the Cavalier offense couldn't muster a big inning like they had the previous two days. Gragnani doubled in the second inning to score Papi and Downes. Sophomore Nate Irving scored in the sixth when an error by Miami's shortstop kept the inning alive. That made the score 4-3 in Miami's favor, which is where it stayed.
The Cavaliers return to action on Tuesday when they visit nearby Liberty University for a 6pm first pitch. They're back in Charlottesville on Wednesday for another 6pm game against an in-state foe, this time VMI. Next weekend, Virginia heads to Winston-Salem, NC to face Wake Forest in a Saturday-Sunday-Monday series. Game times are 4pm, 1pm and 7pm, respectively. Monday's game will be televised on ESPN U. The Demon Deacons (16-14, 4-8 ACC) lost their weekend series two games to one against Georgia Tech.