Virginia Baseball No. 19 beats Rider in midweek series FR24 News English
Virginia’s No. 19 baseball continued its strong start to the season with two wins in a midweek series against Rider. The Cavaliers (16-1, 2-1 ACC) rebounded from their first loss of the season last Sunday by beating the Broncs (6-9) 14-4 on Tuesday and 12-3 on Wednesday at Disharoon Park in Charlottesville. Virginia is 11-0 at home this season, with a 14-game home winning streak dating back to last season.
Over the two games, the Cavaliers hit seven home runs to establish commanding leads. Freshman left-hander Matthew Buchanan was credited with the win in Game 1 of the series, striking out nine of the 10 batters he faced. The Cavaliers bullpen led the way in Game 2, shutting out Rider for the final five innings of the game after a hot offensive start.
Game 1 – Virginia 14, Cavalier 4
Two and a half scoreless innings in Game 1 of the series were decisively broken by a grand slam from sophomore receiver Kyle Teel late in the third to give Virginia a 4-0 lead. Teel’s grand slam was his second of the season and third of his career. Teel finished the game 3-for-5, adding a double and a triple and totaling five RBIs.
The Cavaliers continued the offensive drive, scoring five runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 9-0. Junior center fielder Chris Newell and freshman right fielder Casey Saucke opened the inning with back-to-back solo homers. A triple RBI and two single RBI earned Virginia three more points to cement a 9-point advantage over Rider.
The Broncs got on the board in the top of the fifth, but couldn’t generate enough offense to mount a comeback. The final score of the first game of the series ended 14-4 in favor of the Cavaliers. Sophomore right-hander Avery Mabe made a save in his college debut for Virginia, pitching the final 3.1 innings.
“I just thought our guys reacted really well after a long day and the first loss of the season on Sunday night [at Duke]said coach Brian O’Connor.
Game 2 – Virginia 12, Cavalier 3
After a back-and-forth start in Game 2, the Cavaliers pulled away in Game 4 led by both solid hitting and a strong bullpen. Virginia opened the scoring with a two-out RBI brace by second baseman Jake Gelof in the first. Rider responded with a two-point shot from junior right fielder Brendan O’Donnell to take a 2-1 lead in the game, the Broncos’ first lead of the series.
The Cavaliers then scored three late in the second to regain the lead and added to the lead in the third to make it 5-2. Freshman second baseman Tristan Shoemaker hit the RBI single in his first college start for Virginia. The Broncs clawed back a run in the top of the fourth, but home runs from grad student left fielder Alex Tappen and Saucke put the Cavaliers ahead 9-3.
Four Virginia relievers held Rider scoreless for the final five innings, and the Cavaliers nailed three more runs to end the game 12-3. Sophomore left-hander Jake Berry was credited with the win, his second of the season, striking out four batters in 2.2 innings.
“I just thought there were a number of guys in the lineup who had really fantastic approaches today and it’s a collection of different guys every day. [Alex] Tappen has been outstanding, him and Casey Saucke,” Coach O’Connor said. “We get a collection of input from a lot of different guys and that has allowed us to build depth and play with different players and guys in different situations.”
Virginia returns to action at Disharoon Park this weekend against Boston College for a three-game conference series. The first pitch was at 4 p.m. for Friday’s opener and 4 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday.