Maybe the 10 a.m. start had them a little confused, but it took seven innings for the Virginia bats to heat up. It was just in time, as the Hoos rallied from a 6-0 deficit to take down the Kansas Jayhawks 9-6.
Tip your hat to Kansas starter Taylor Turski who stifled the Hoos all day, holding them to just a single hit through the game’s first six innings. However, he couldn't keep them down all day as Virginia scored four in the seventh, two in the eighth, then finally three in the ninth to seal the win.
It wasn't the best outing from Virginia starter Adam Haseley, as he went 3.2 innings giving up four runs (three earned) over seven hits. On the bright side, Haseley struck out six without issuing a walk. On the mound, the Hoos were able to stay in it thanks to a great effort in middle relief by Alec Bettinger. The senior came on to get the final out of the fourth inning, going on to give up two runs over 3.0 innings. Overall, he gave up two hits, two walks, and tallied five strike outs.
At the plate, Pavin Smith, Ernie Clement, and Robbie Coman each had two hits. It was Smith’s two-run home run in the eighth that tied the game at six, while Clement delivered the go ahead run in the ninth. Charlie Cody was 1-3, though it was his seventh inning three-run home run that got the Hoos back in the ballgame.
Kansas got to Haseley in the bottom of the third when James Cosentino got the Jayhawks first hit of the game. He advanced to second when an error on Haseley allowed Peyton Grassanovits to reach. A David Kyriacou single scored Cosentino before a Rudy Karre single plated Grassonovits to make the score 2-0. Marcus Wheeler would rip a double scoring Kyriacou and Karre would score a batter later on a single by Devin Foyle giving Kansas a 4-0 lead through three innings.
Matt McGlaughlin made the score 6-0 in the sixth when he hit a two RBI single off Bettinger.
Trailing 6-0 in the top of the seventh, Haseley (who stayed in the game to DH) got things started with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. That would bring up Smith whose single plated Haseley. After Cam Simmons reached with a hit, Cody stepped to the plate and delivered the three run blast to bring the Cavaliers to within 6-4.
The Hoos didn’t stop there. After a Ernie Clement single to lead off the eighth, Smith hit his second home run of the weekend, a no-doubter to right knotting the game at six.
After Tommy Doyle pitched a scoreless eighth, the Cavaliers used singles by Nate Eikhoff and Cayman Richardson before Clement delivered the go-ahead hit. Jake McCarthy would add a two-run double for a little insurance. Doyle sealed the deal in the ninth to preserve the 9-6 win.
Virginia’s home opener comes Tuesday as they host the VMI Keydets. Then over the weekend the Hoos welcome the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for a three-game set starting Friday.