After a disappointing start last week against East Carolina that saw him only go 5 innings, Connor Jones needed to get back on his All-American track this week against Monmouth. He delivered.
Jones pitched into the 8th inning holding the Hawks to just two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out five. More promising is that Jones was able to total 106 pitches meaning he is almost to the top of his season form.
Kevin Doherty relieved Jones with one out in the 8th and a runner on first. He was able to put away Monmouth with a quick strike out and an F8 to retire them in the 8th and hand the ball off to Alec Bettinger for the 9th. Bettinger got three quick outs, two via the strike out, to secure UVa's 6th win, 3rd in a row, and his 3rd save of the season.
After watching the bullpen struggle last weekend against ECU and allowing William and Mary to stay somewhat close in their midweek game, it had to be pleasing for O'Connor and Kuhn to have the bullpen make quick work of Monmouth this afternoon.
At the plate, the Cavaliers used a balanced attack with 5 UVa hitters registering a hit during the game, and only first year Andy Weber having more than one hit. The highlight was no doubt 3rd year Matt Thaiss' 4th inning solo home run to give UVa the initial lead. It was only Thaiss' first HR on the season, but with 10 last season, it it likely the first of many more to come.
Monmouth and Virginia return to Davenport Field tomorrow afternoon at 1 for the second game of the series.