Entering the season the biggest question mark for the Virginia Cavaliers’ 2023 roster was the pitching staff. After turning over nearly the entire staff, nobody knew just what to expect.
However, after two ACC series on the road, the UVA pitching staff is looking like it might be more than capable of supporting one of the top offenses in the country and they showcased that in Raleigh this past weekend holding the Wolfpack to just 6 runs over three games.
UVA - 2
NC State - 1
The staff got off on the right foot in the Thursday opening night game with Nick Parker taking the ball and holding the Wolfpack to just one run on six hits and three walks while striking out seven. Angelo Tonas, Jake Hodorovich, and Jake Berry combined to close out the final four innings and not only held State off the board, but limited them to just 2 hits and no walks while striking out seven of the fourteen batters faced.
The offense that UVA hoped would carry them was quiet, but did just enough to earn the victory. All the damage came in the third when UVA loaded the bases with no outs and the middle of the lineup coming. Unfortunately the 2-3-4 spots of O’Donnell, Gelof, and Teel were only able to manage a strikeout and a groundout from O’Donnell and Gelof before Teel would single to score the winning second run.
UVA - 7
NC State - 0
The pitching that was on display in the first game continued into the second game, but was bolstered by the offense that was cold the previous day. Brian Edginton earned his fourth win of the season limiting the Wolfpack to four hits in 6.1 shutout innings. Four Cavaliers combined to hold NC State off the board the final 3.2 innings to give UVA their fourth shutout of the season.
At the plate all but two starters registered a hit with Jake Gelof and Ethan Anderson both giving the offense two. Holding a slim 1-0 lead heading into the 8th, the offense exploded for four runs on five hits including a Gelof double, a Kyle Teel home run, and a henry Godbout double. The Cavaliers would get another two runs in the 9th thanks to an Ethan O’Donnell double and another Jake Gelof double.
UVA - 4
NC State - 5
Despite taking the loss in the series finale, the staff and offense did almost enough to earn the sweep. Jack O’Connor turned in another impressive start going 5.2 innings and giving up just two runs.
The offense seemingly had pulled off the victory as well giving UVA a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th thanks to Jake Gelof and Kyle Teel hitting back to back home runs in the top half.
Unfortunately, Jake Berry ran out of steam in the 9th allowing NC State to score three runs with two outs to give the Wolfpack the victory. After pitching 2.2 innings on Thursday, Berry took over for Woolfolk in the 8th and allowed the bases loaded with one outs before escaping unharmed. In the 9th, he allowed a double, but sandwhiched it between two ground outs before giving up two more singles, a walk, and the walk off, bases loaded single.
Despite losing the finale in dramatic fashion, the Hoos have a 4-2 ACC record and sit just one game behind Miami in the Coastal standings after starting on the road for the first two series of the year. Miami on the other hand has played their first two series at home taking two of three from NC State and sweeping Virginia Tech this past weekend.
The performance was also good enough for UVA to take big jumps in most of the rankings including D1Baseball where the Hoos jumped from 14th to 8th.
After being on the road the last two weekends, the Cavaliers return home this week with two midweek games against High Point and Georgetown before taking on Florida State, who is coming off a home series loss to Boston College this past weekend.