Cavalier Baseball Outlasts the Yellow Jackets 4-3

Mike Papi's clutch two out hit in the 7th secured the Cavaliers' 39th victory of the season - USA TODAY Sports

It didn't look good, but the Cavaliers took control on the back half to secure the victory and give Coach O'Connor his 500th victory.

Nathan Kirby finally showed that he was human. The 2nd year had been stellar nearly the entire year, but last night against Georgia Tech, he just didn't have his best stuff. Luckily for Cavalier fans everywhere, that offense that everyone has freaked out about for the last month did what it does best: it scored enough runs to win the game.

Kirby started on the mound and only struck out four while walking two and giving up six hits over 5.2 innings. Fortunately, his ERA won't take that big of a hit as only one of his three runs. The bullpen relieved Kirby and was as dominant as they have been all year. Young, Mayberry, and Howard combined to hold the Yellow Jackets hitless over the last three innings while striking out 7.

Third year Nick Howard closed out the final inning with two strikeouts to earn his 16th save of the season. Those 16 saves are three ahead of the closest ACC reliever and puts him in third in the country. Howard is also only two behind Baylor's Josh Michalec who is the nation's leader.

The offensive story of the night was yet again, Mike Papi. Papi's two out single in the seventh scored Kenny Towns and John LaPrise to give the Cavaliers their third and fourth runs of the night, securing the victory.

Big Joe McCarthy had a night of his with three hits and a run scored. The three hits now raise his average to .303 with 37 runs scored. He still has a ways to go to match his first year numbers, but there are still games to be played.

The Cavaliers go for their 12th series victory of the season on Saturday. I can't imagine GT is feeling good after putting up such a strong fight and coming up short last night. Expect another UVa victory.

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