The Virginia Cavaliers continued their march to the postseason, this time relying on the home run ball to upset the top seeded and No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In an ACC Tournament already known for its number of home runs, the Cavaliers knocked four out of Truist Field on Friday as they knocked off Notre Dame 14-1
Virginia jumped on the Irish early taking a 2-0 lead on Nic Kent’s mammoth home run to left scoring Devin Ortiz who was hit by a pitch. Logan Micheals ripped a double to left and Alex Tappen broke it wide open with another two-run home run. The Hoos weren’t done in the top of the second when Jake Gelof followed the Tappen shot with a solo home run of his own. That was good enough for a 5-0 lead and to chase Notre Dame starter John Michael Bertrand from the game.
Virginia got another run in the top of the fourth when Kyle Teel knocked a two-out double and scored a batter later on an RBI single by Ortiz.
Zack Geloff joined the home run party in the top of the fifth. After his brother Jake and Chris Newell drew two-out walks, the Cavalier lead-off man drove a big fly out of the park in left. That made the score 9-0 which is all Andrew Abbott would need.
The Cavalier Ace was once again fantastic going 6.1 shutout innings, giving up only five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts. He allowed Irish batters to reach base in all but two of his seven innings pitched, but only once allowed a runner to reach third. His 136 strikeouts on the year are easily good for best in the conference and his pitching is a big reason to be optimistic about the Hoos as they head into the postseason.
Stephen Schoch took over for Abbott and after giving up a single, stolen base, and error the Virginia closer got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat. Matt Wyatt then made quick work of the Irish in the eighth striking out the side.
After a couple three up-three down innings, the Hoos got back to it in the ninth. Christian Hlinka and Kent both walked before Marc Lebreux singled to score Hlinka. Jake Gelof then singled to lead the bases for Newell who knocked a single through the middle to score Kent and Lebreux. Zack Gelof then continued his torrid afternoon ripping a double to score Jake Gelof and Newell and make the score 14-0.
The Irish would finally get on the board plating a single run in the bottom of the ninth, but Wyatt was tough striking out two more Notre Dame batters for five Ks on the day.
At the plate, the Hoos were led by Zack Gelof who had five RBI on three hits including a double and home run. Tappen, Jake Gelof, and Newell each had two hits with Jake Gelof crossing the plate three times.
Virginia will face the Duke Blue Devils in the first ACC Semifinal game of the day. First pitch is at 1 PM. The game will be televised by ACC Network.