Just two weeks after losing a heartbreaking baseball game against VCU in Richmond on a walk-off home run in extra innings, the Cavaliers got their shot to avenge that loss back at home in Charlottesville. After a shaky start, Virginia used a massive six-run seventh-inning to take control of the game and cruised to a 12-6 victory over VCU on Wednesday night at Disharoon Park.
Making his first start on the mound since last June, Matt Wyatt retired four of the first five batters he faced but started to struggle with location in the top of the second inning. Wyatt gave up a single, committed an error on a pickoff move, walked a batter, and then VCU scored a run on a double-steal. Wyatt then walked another batter, spelling the end of his night. Virginia inserted Dylan Bowers, who gave up an RBI single to Ben Nippolt and walked the next batter, but managed to get out of the inning with no further damage.
Virginia answered back immediately in the bottom half of the inning. Devin Ortiz got on board on an error and Chris Newell was hit by a pitch and both came around to score on an Ethan Anderson double to tie the game. Casey Saucke delivered an RBI double of his own and then scored on a passed ball to make it 4-2 in favor of the Cavaliers.
UVA’s lead did not last for long. In the top of the third, Will Carlone and AJ Mathis hit back-to-back doubles. A single moved Mathis to third and Virginia was forced to bring in Matthew Buchanan to relieve Bowers. VCU then executed a safety squeeze as Marcus O’Malley laid down a perfect bunt to score Mathis from third to tie the game.
The Rams took the lead in the top of the fourth as Tyler Locklear hit a one-out triple off of Will Geerdes and came around to score on a groundout by Logan Amiss. In the following inning, VCU threatened to score again, but Chris Newell robbed O’Malley of an RBI with an incredible diving catch in center field.
VCU went to right-handed reliever Chase Hungate in the third inning and he delivered three-consecutive scoreless innings to keep the Cavaliers off the board into the sixth inning. Hungate was replaced by Edwin Serrano, who gave up a double to Casey Saucke, an RBI groundout to Griff O’Ferrall, and an RBI single to Alex Tappen to put UVA back in front 6-5.
While the Cavaliers overtook the Rams in the sixth, they took control of the game in the seventh. After showing his glove skills a couple innings earlier, Chris Newell pulled a ball over the right field wall for a solo homer, his 11th home run of the season.
Anderson reached base on a single and then Casey Saucke continued his stellar hitting performance with a two-run blast over the wall in left-center for a two-run home run.
Saucke went 3-5 at the plate with two doubles and a home run and recorded three RBI and three runs scored. The onslaught continued with back-to-back RBI singles from Kyle Teel and Alex Tappen, then Teel came home on a passed ball for Virginia’s sixth run of the inning and 12th of the game.
Scroll to Continue
VCU scored one run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single from Connor Hujsak, but for the most part, the UVA bullpen shut down the Rams after the fourth inning. Paul Kosanovich gave the Cavaliers three scoreless innings of relief work and earned the win, his third of the season.
Virginia (34-12, 14-10 ACC) is off this weekend for final exams. UVA returns to action against Longwood next Wednesday at 6pm at Disharoon Park before hosting an ACC series against Clemson the following weekend.
See more Virginia baseball news and content: Virginia Baseball on Sports Illustrated
See more Virginia sports news and content: Virginia Cavaliers on Sports Illustrated
Read more from Cavaliers Now
Miami Running Back Cody Brown Transfers to Virginia Football
UVA Football Secures Commitment From Varina Star Athlete Anthony Fisher
UVA Basketball Offers Combo-Guard Freddie Dilione From Raleigh
UVA Basketball in the Mix for Georgetown Transfer Don Carey
Virginia Football: Undrafted Free Agent Tracker
Virginia Basketball Offers Four-Star Forward Andrej Stojakovic