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Virginia Bats Explode as the Hoos Sweep Cornell

The Cavaliers improve to 7-0 on the season

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Tennessee v Virginia Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers baseball team left no doubt this weekend as they swept the Cornell Big Red, scoring a whopping 60 runs in three games. The Hoos banged 48 hits with 14 different Cavaliers getting in on the action. Virginia took the first game 24-9 and followed that up with a 17-2 victory on Saturday. They got the sweep on Sunday winning by a final score of 19-1.

Friday: UVA 24 - Cornell 9

On Friday, Jake Gelof got things started early homering in the first as a part of four run first inning. He’d do it again to nearly the same spot in the bottom of the second as the Cavaliers raced out to a 8-3 lead after two innings. Cornell made things interesting in the fifth putting four runs on the board, but Virginia answered putting up seven of their own in the bottom half. It was a team affair with Alex Tappen, Casey Saucke, Griff O’Ferrell, and Gelof all driving in runs. They plated two more in the sixth, highlighted by Chris Newell’s second home run of the year. The Cavaliers scored another three in the seventh with Saucke delivering a two-RBI triple.

However, not all the highlights on the night were at the plate. On the mound Nate Savino picked up the win notching 11 strike outs in just four innings pitched. Jake Berry and Joseph Miceli combined to pitch four scoreless adding another 10 strike outs between them. On the day, Virgnia pitchers struck out 23 batters reminiscent of the Hoos’ 24 strike out performance against Old Dominion in the Columbia Regional of last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Saturday: UVA 17 - Cornell 2

Saturday was much the same with the Hoos jumping on Cornell early. Virginia scored seven runs in the bottom of the second with Tappen coming up with an RBI double and an RBI single later in the frame and Ethan Anderson adding a two-RBI double. Devin Ortiz chipped in a two-RBI single in the third. He wasn’t done though, as in the fifth he doubled scoring O’Ferrell as part of a three run inning. They’d add five more in the sixth as Anderson picked up his second RBI of the game and Ortiz would get his third.

But for all the attention the Virginia bats got on Saturday, the pitching was incredible. Brian Gursky picked up his second win of the season throwing 5.2 innings and only giving up one run on two hits. Jay Woolfolk added 2.1 innings, also giving up just one run with four strike outs while Matthew Buchanan closed out a perfect ninth inning.

Sunday: UVA 19 - Cornell 1

On Sunday, it was the Gelof show. Even though Virginia racked up 19 runs, it was Gelof who entered the history books hitting for the cycle as the first Virginia player to hit for the cycle since Hunter Wyant in 2001. He got things started with a home run in the first, his fifth of the season. He got a double in the second inning plating Kyle Teel and O’Ferrell in the process. He tripled in the fourth and scored on an RBI ground out by Tappen. And finally completed the cycle in the fifth with a single.

Virginia scored at least two runs in each of the first five innings with Teel providing the fireworks in the third coming up with his first home run of the season that just happened to be of the grand slam variety. In the fifth, Tappen delivered a three-run bomb with Saucke following that up with a homer of his own.

Just like Gursky the day prior, Brandon Neeck was masterful on the mound coming through with five innings of three hit ball, giving up a single run and striking out eight. Alex Greene, Dylan Bowers, and Will Geerdes finished the job combining for four shut out innings with only Greene giving up two hits.

For the weekend, Gelof paced the Hoos at the plate coming up with seven hits, scoring eight runs, driving in 13 runs and launching three home runs. Saucke also had seven hits while O’Ferrell set the table leading the Hoos in runs scored with nine despite only getting two hits (he walked a team high seven times). Tappen drove in nine runs while Anderson had four hits and four RBI in just eight at bats.

Virginia is back in action Tuesday when they host William and Mary before welcoming Penn State for a three game set next weekend.