For the first time in ACC play of 2017 the Hoos will enter Sunday not worrying about whether or not they will win a series.
It has been a rough initial four series for the Cavaliers, but when three of those come against Top 10 teams and two come on the road, struggles are acceptable.
However, that won’t be the case this weekend after a 5-2 series clinching victory Saturday against Pitt.
Junior catcher Caleb Knight has a .480 average on the season, but had only appeared in 12 games entering Saturday. Cavalier fans took notice and should remember Caleb for the rest of the season after his three run home run in the fifth gave all the offense the Hoos would need.
Mix in RBI and multi-hit games from Cameron Simmons and Justin Novak and the 5 runs would be more than enough for a stellar outing from the bullpen.
Noah Murdock started the game, but was pulled early on in the fourth for Senior Alec Bettinger. Coach O’Connor said after the game he had a short leash on Murdock because he knew Bettinger was well rested. Murdcock’s short outing should not be a surprise. He gave the staff three innings of one run ball before turning it over to Bettinger.
Bettinger came on and worked 4.2 innings, holding the Panthers to just one hit and 2 walks while striking out 7 to earn his 5th win on the season to tie Daniel Lynch for the team lead.
Tommy Doyle relieved Bettinger in the 8th and worked the final 1.1 innings to earn his 8th save of the season. Doyle did allow a run on a hit and a walk, but the four run lead was more than enough.
The win moves the Cavaliers’ record to 25-8 on the season and pulls them to .500 in the ACC. The 7-7 record ties UVa with FSU for 5th overall in the ACC and alone in 2nd place in the Coastal, just a half game ahead of Miami.
UVa goes for their first ACC sweep of the season and first since sweeping Virginia Tech to end the regular season of 2016.