The offense has to come awake eventually, right? Last weekend in Miami the Hoos notched plenty of hits, but just couldn't push across any runs. Last night, they just couldn't get enough hits to push across runs. Luckily for UVa, the Hokies offense was just a little bit worse.
When other teams scout the Hoos, they have to look straight at the pitching staff and recognize that they're not going score many runs. Last night was no different. Nathan Kirby took the rubber to start, and turned in another quality start. Kirby only surrendered a single earned run on four hits and one run over 6.1 innings. The start allowed him to run his ERA to 1.24 in seven starts and 43.2 innings, and ranks him 2nd in the ACC overall (behind teammate Connor Jones' 1.04 ERA).
When Kirby got in trouble in the 7th, Coach O'Connor turned to 5th year Whit Mayberry to come in and close the door again. Mayberry put himself into some sticky situations and worked out of them thanks to four strikeouts. Whit turned the ball over to Nick Howard who shut the door on the Hokies in the 9th to earn his seventh save of the season and ties him with UNC's Chris McCue for the ACC lead.
While the pitching was lights out all game, the offense was a resident of struggle city til the 7th inning. In the 7th, Papi lead off with a double and scored on a Joe McCarthy 1 out single to tie it up 1-1. After stealing 2nd, McCarthy scored on a bouncer through the left side of the infield from Nate Irving to take the the lead for good.
Papi was the offensive leader thanks to three hits in as many at bats. Only McCarthy, Irving, and John LaPrise registered other hits for the woeful Cavalier offense. The good news is, thanks to so few hits and no walks, UVa only left three men on base all night! A big improvement after leaving 32 men on base last weekend in Miami!
Cavaliers and Hokies square off again today at 12:30 as the Cavaliers look to secure yet another ACC series victory.