Friday, Daniel Lynch, check. Saturday, Evan Sperling, check. For the second day in a row, the Hoos got a tremendous outing from their starter. Sperling was terrific, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning and giving up only a single run, albeit unearned. On the day, Sperling pitched 6.0 innings, gave up only two hits, two walks, and struck out six.
...However, much like last year, the starter couldn't go all the way opening up the game for the bullpen. And unlike yesterday, when the bullpen put up a zero, the Bulldogs made things interesting in the eighth. After a couple of hits, walks, and a home run, the Hoos saw a comfortable 10-1 lead get a little less comfortable at 10-6. But Tommy Doyle closed things out in the ninth to squelch the rally.
The bats stayed hot for the Cavaliers led by Nate Eikhoff with three hits, a walk, three runs scored, and an RBI. Jack McCarthy and Pavin Smith each chipped in two hits apiece, while Smith and Adam Haseley hit big flies for the Hoos.
Virginia raced out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to an Ernie Clement single and stolen base. Smith drove in a run with a fielders while Eikhoff got an RBI with a single and Cam Simmons drew a bases loaded walk to plate the third run of the inning. Virginia would add two more on Haseley’s two run home run to the opposite field scoring McCarthy.
The Bulldogs would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth when William Kinney flied to left. McCarthy got there in plenty of time but was unable to bring it down. Kinney would score after advancing to third on a sacrifice fly, then home on a ground out to first.
Virginia got that one back in the fifth thanks to an Eikhoff double and an RBI fielder’s choice by freshman catcher Drew Blakely. Smith’s homer came in the top of the sixth and was a part of a two run inning that also saw Eikhoff score on a Simmons single to right after doubling to right center.
Facing a nine run deficit in the eighth, The Citadel turned two singles, a walk, and a hit by pitch into three runs off Virginia’s Grant Donahue and Jack Roberts. Then they pulled to within 10-6 with a two run home run by Joe Sabatini.
That would be as close as it would get as Doyle pitched a perfect ninth to preserve the 10-6 win.
The Hoos wrap up their three game round robin and turn to Haseley for a matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks. Due to NCAA travel regulations, and the need to get two game in on Sunday, the Hoos and Jayhawks will start at 10 A.M.