In an ACC Tournament where runs (and especially home runs) have been aplenty, the Virginia Cavaliers pitching staff did what they had to do to give their ballclub a chance at the win. But the offense couldn’t get the hit when it needed to and the Hoos fell 3-0 to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish capping off a disappointing 0-2 week in Charlotte.
Notre Dame was the first to strike picking up a run in the bottom of the second. After Davis LaManna led off with a double, he’d score when a laser line-drive off the bat of Zack Prajzner hit Virginia starter Nate Savino and bounced into right field. Virginia had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth putting runners at second and third, but Kyle Teel struck out to end the inning.
The Irish struck again in the bottom of the frame when Jack Brannigan reached on an infield single. He’d score when Jack Penney nearly left the yard, but settled for an RBI double and a 2-0 Fighting Irish lead.
It looked like Virginia might have something cooking in the top of the sixth when Max Cotier led off with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Alex Tappen. It would all be for naught however, as Notre Dame’s Matt Bedford needed only two pitches to get Jake Gelof to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and Ortiz to ground out to shortstop.
Notre Dame made the Cavaliers pay for failing to score, as they were able to take a 3-0 lead in the bottom half of the sixth when LaManna scored easily from third on a deep fly ball to right field off the bat of Prajzner.
The Cavaliers threatened again in the top of the eighth, only to come up empty. Cotier picked up a two-out single and moved to second on a blistering line drive single by Tappen. They advanced on a wild pitch before Gelof drew a walk to load the bases. But Ortiz wasn’t able to take advantage of a 3-1 count as he grounded out to second to end the inning.
Savino took the loss giving up two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Matt Wyatt pitched 1.1 innings giving up a single run on just two hits keeping things from getting out of hand. Paul Kosanovich and Brandon Neeck combined for scoreless seventh and eighth innings and gave Virginia a chance at a comeback.
Tappen picked up three of Virginia’s five hits, all singles. But, on the day, Virginia left eight runners on base, four by Ortiz and two by Teel.
Now the Hoos play the waiting game. With an RPI now at 25 and a losing record in Quad One games, Virginia’s Regional host chances are most likely dashed. They’ll wait this weekend in Charlottesville likely to be a Two-Seed no host wants to see in their region. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is Monday, May 30th at 12 p.m. EDT and will air on ESPN2.