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Virginia Baseball Drops Series to Pitt

Still top the ACC Coastal Division

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

Coming into the weekend series with the Pittsburgh Panthers, the Cavaliers appeared unstoppable at home. Having won a nations-best and program record 23 home games in a row, the Hoos looked to keep the momentum rolling. However after giving up three runs in the fourth inning of Friday’s night’s matchup, the Hoos found themselves chasing a deficit they wouldn’t overcome. Saturday was much of the same as Virginia lost 6-4, before the Cavaliers avoided the sweep winning 8-5 in Sunday’s series finale.

The Hoos got an early 2-1 lead Friday night after a Jake Gelof sacrifice fly scored Griff O’Ferrall and Kyle Teel hit his seventh home run of the seaon. But a three run fourth inning and single runs by Pitt in the fifth and sixth innings put Virginia in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

Gelof tried to start a rally with a home run in the seventh and an RBI double in the eighth. But ultimately it wouldn’t be enough as Virginia fell 7-5.

Brian Edgington lost his first game of the year giving up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks. Angelo Tonas, Kevin Jaxel, Bradley Hodges, and Jake Hodorovich held things down only giving up two earned runs over the final 4.2 innings.

Saturday looked like a different story as Gelof knocked his seventh home run in as many games, a three-run shot that gave Virginia an early 3-0 lead. Pitt would draw even with three runs in the third inning, and took the lead with one run in the sixth, then extended that lead with two more runs in the seventh. Virginia would get one run back in the bottom on the ninth on an Anthony Stephan solo shot, but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers fell 6-4.

Nick Parker was credited with the loss after giving up three earned runs on six hits, three walks, and four strike outs in 3.1 innings of work. Jake Berry went three innings while Chase Hungate finished things off keeping his squad in it.

Finally, the Hoos got the victory on Sunday, but it was a long time coming. Pitt got a run in the top of the first with Virginia matching it in the bottom of the fourth. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Cavaliers lineup would finally give us what we’ve all become accustomed to this year.

Ethan Anderson and Stephan picked up singles before Casey Saucke was hit by a pitch. Then with one out, Harrison Didawick and O’Ferrall drew RBI walks before Ethan O’Donnell drove in Didawick and pinch runner Luke Hanson. They’d get another run in the seventh, but Teel would get the insurance the Hoos would need when he drove in O’Donnell and O’Ferrall on his two RBI double to right center in the last half of the eighth.

Things would get a bit dicey for Jay Woolfolk in the ninth after two walks and a single loaded the bases. But the Virginia closer would strike out Jack Anderson and get Kyle Hess to fly out to end the threat and pick up the save.

O’Ferrall led the way at the plate hitting .545 on the weekend while Gelof once again provided the pop driving in six runs on five hits with two of those hits leaving the yard. Teel and Anderson matched Gelof with five hits, while Teel was an extra base machine with four doubles and a home run.

Virginia hits the road with their annual matchup with Virginia Commonwealth at The Diamond in Richmond before an ACC road series at Notre Dame next weekend.