Hope for another run to an ACC Tournament Championship was short lived for the Cavaliers.
After a hard fought and well pitched game, the Hoos dropped their ACC Tournament opening game to North Carolina 3-2.
Though it won’t be reflected in the box score, the player of the game for the Cavaliers was without a doubt Chesdin Harrington. The 4th year pitcher has been lights out over the past month as a starting pitcher and last night was no different allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out eight.
Andrew Abbott relieved Harrington in the 6th and was nearly as dominant, though he’ll get credited with the loss. Abbott held the Tar Heels off the board for 3+ innings allowing UVa to tie the game up. In all, Abbott struck out five and limited the Heels to just a run on two hits and three walks.
However, that third walk was the killer.
In the 10th with the teams still deadlocked 2-2, Abbott walked UNC’s Aaron Sabato with one out on four straight pitches. Devin Ortiz relieved Abbott and never found the strike zone allowing Sabato to advance to second on a wild pitch, intentionally walking the next batter, and walking the next batter to load the bases with just one out. On an 0-1 count to pinch hitter Caleb Roberts, Ortiz hit Roberts to force in the winning run.
The loss gave UNC their 3rd straight win over UVa even though UVa has outscored the Heels 22-18 over the course of the season; the last three games all being one run affairs.
The loss could be a crushing blow to UVa’s postseason hopes. The loss only dropped their RPI one spot to No. 44, but the Hoos are now just 8-15 against the RPI Top 50. D1Baseball has UVa as one of the first five out.
The loss also eliminates UVa from the ACC Tournament. With three team pods, the best the Hoos could hope for would be a three way 1-1 tie, but the tiebreaker goes to the highest seed of the pod, Miami. Hopefully Miami will take its foot off the gas this afternoon when the two teams square off in a game that could mean nothing to Miami, but everything to the Cavaliers.