While the Virginia baseball team isn’t positioned among the nation’s elite as they’ve grown accustomed in the last fourteen years, the Hoos have been playing much better in recent weeks. And that trend continued Friday in their 4-0 win over the #22 North Carolina Tar Heels. Derek Casey continued his hot Friday night pitching going six shutout innings, giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out four. Casey has now pitched 18 consecutive shutout innings picking up the win in each of his last three starts. And while Orel Hershiser’s record isn’t quite in jeopardy, Casey has been the Friday ace the Hoos need going forward.
The Cavaliers got started early, picking up a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Caleb Knight got things started with a leadoff double. Charlie Cody then drew a one out walk to bring up Cameron Comer who double to right, scoring Knight. Cody would then score on a wild pitch surrendered by North Carolina’s Tyler Baum making the score 2-0.
Virginia kept the pressure on in the third when Nate Eikhoff picked up a one out triple. He’d score a batter later on an RBI single off the bat of Alex Tappen.
The Tar Heels threatened twice putting two runners on with less than one out in both the second and third innings. However, Casey was able to induce inning ending double plays on both occasions.
The Hoos got their final run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Cayman Richardson came up with a two-out single and scored from first on an Andy Webber single and UNC throwing error.
Casey gave way to Andrew Abbott in the seventh. And not to be outdone, Abbott pitched a perfect seventh, eighth, and ninth inning to pick up the three-inning save, his fourth on the year.
Eikhoff and Comer each had two hits for the Hoos while Tappen and Comer drove in a run apiece.
The win improves Virginia’s record to 20-14 overall and 7-9 in the ACC. The Cavaliers need all the wins they can muster if they plan to play past Memorial Day and it starts Saturday when the two teams will meet for a double-header. First pitch is at 1 p.m. from The Dish and both games will be televised on ACC Network Extra if you can’t make it to Charlottesville.