First year infielder Jake Gelof walked up to the plate for the first time on Friday afternoon with the Virginia Cavaliers facing a 1-0 deficit to the South Carolina Gamecocks. After seeing three pitches from USC’s Brett Kerry — two balls and a strike — Gelof absolutely unloaded on pitch four for a monster home run.
Gelof knew it as soon as it left the bat, pausing at home plate to watch the ball sail over the left field wall. He trotted the bases, greeted by his teammates at home with the score now knotted at 1-1 in the first game of the Columbia Regional.
The 9-hole hitter Chris Newell struck out swinging in the next at bat, bringing Jake’s big brother, Zack back to the plate for his second at bat of the game. Zack got behind in the count 0-1, but got a good look at a slider on pitch two. He sent a low trajectory deep ball over the fence in right field, giving Virginia a 2-1 lead.
It was Jake’s second home run of his career — his first came against Notre Dame in the ACC tournament last week — and Zack’s eighth of the season. This is the second time that the Gelof brothers have both homered in the same game, with Zack also going yard against Notre Dame. With this home run, Zack matched teammate Kyle Teel for the team’s lead. For two brothers that traveled to Omaha to watch the Virginia Cavaliers in the 2014 College World Series, this was a great moment.
Although Virginia threatened with two more baserunners in the third, the Cavaliers were unable to extend the lead further. Kerry would exit the game after Kyle Teel drew a walk, bringing in Julian Bosnic to take over on the mound for the final two outs of the inning.
Andrew Abbott gave up a solo home run to Wes Clarke — South Carolina’s leader with 22 on the season — in the bottom of the first, but he’s got three strikeouts and given up just the one hit through the first three innings.
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