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Baseball Takes Series from Duke in ACC Opener

The Cavaliers made a bold statement traveling to Durham and taking two of three.

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

The Cavaliers entered the weekend with an unblemished record, but lacking in respect due to a weak out of conference schedule.

After a series win in Durham however, the Hoos will start to get the national recognition they deserve as they sit at 14-1 overall.

Friday: UVA 5 - Duke 0

Nate Savino served notice that he could be one of the top aces in the ACC with a dominant complete game, five hit shutout. The lefty faced just 31 batters and didn’t allow a walk while striking out seven and needing just 103 pitches.

At the plate, five Cavaliers had hits including a two hit performance from Casey Saucke, but nobody was better than Jake Gelof. Gelof continued his torrid start to the season with another multi home run game and added a double to total three runs scored and 4 RBI for the game. Gelof is now batting .476 on the season with 9 home runs and 33 RBI in just 13 games.

Sunday Game 1: UVA 13 - Duke 1

What UVA had shown over the last two weeks at the plate continued in game 1 of the double header with the Hoos putting together 18 hits from 9 different players. Ethan Anderson, Justin Rubin, Alex Tappen, Devin Ortiz, Kyle Teel, and Griff O’Ferrall all tallied multiple hits while O’Ferrall, Teel, Ortiz, and Jake Gelof all had multiple RBI. More impressive however was all of the runs came without a single home run. UVA had shown power over the first three weeks, but scoring in bunches without the long ball shows a more rounded out attack.

On the mound Brian Gursky got his 4th win of the season after holding the Blue Devils to just one run on four hits in five innings while striking out five. Jake Berry, Jake Hodorovich, and Paul Kosanovich combined to shutout Duke over the final four innings and limit them to just 3 hits over that span.

Sunday Game 2: UVA 6 - Duke 7

The offense came up just short in the back half of the double header plating two runs in the 9th to make it a one run ball game, but stranded the tying run to suffer their first loss of the season.

The staff that had held Duke to 1 run over the previous 18 innings saw Duke race out to a 4-0 lead by the time the 2nd inning was over. Brandon Neeck didn’t have a quality outing lasting just 2.2 innings surrendering those 4 runs while walking 4 over that span. Devin Ortiz suffered the loss after giving up a 2 run double in the 7th to give Duke the lead they wouldn’t give back.

The offense sputtered a bit as well totaling just 7 hits in the game and no Cavaliers in the lineup recording a multi hit game. Chris Newell had a single and scored two runs while both Casey Saucke and Justin Rubin had singles and 2 RBI.

While the Cavaliers have feasted on weaker competition, the series victory showed they can win against good teams as well. For those concerned with rankings, it should be more than enough to get the Hoos into the Top 25 for all the ranking services.

UVA returns home for a 6 game homestand with games against Rider on Tuesday and Wednesday before the ACC home games begin at Davenport with Boston College who lost its opening series at Miami this past weekend.