No. 2 Cavaliers rally past Hurricanes
Baseball earns two tough victories to clinch series victory over Miami
The No. 2 Virginia baseball team travelled to Coral Gables, Fla. this weekend for a three-game series against the Miami Hurricanes. The Cavaliers lost by six runs in the Saturday-night opener but fought back for a pair of tightly contested victories to improve to 6-0 in weekend series on the year.
Virginia (19-4, 7-2 ACC) arrived at Alex Rodriguez Park the winner of seven consecutive games and the owner of the country’s eighth-best team ERA (2.02). Miami (13-12, 5-4 ACC), however, snapped the Cavaliers’ streak while getting to the Virginia pitching staff in the late innings of a 7-1 loss.
Sophomore left-hander Nathan Kirby (5-1) recorded his sixth quality start in as many chances but was undone by a three-run seventh in which he threw two wild pitches and gave up his first home run of the season. The Hurricanes tagged senior relievers Whit Mayberry and Austin Young for four runs in the eighth.
The Cavaliers rallied for an 8-3, 11-inning win Sunday night. Sophomore right-hander Josh Sborz dominated the Miami lineup for the better part of seven innings, striking out 10 Hurricanes and giving up two runs on two walks, a hit and a hit-by-pitch.
Freshman right-hander Connor Jones (2-0) picked up the win in relief, and Mayberry registered his first save of the year after junior closer Nick Howard struggled in his attempt to shut the door. Sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy drove in the game-winning run when he walked against freshman left-hander Danny Garcia with the bases loaded in the top of the 11th, and junior second baseman Branden Cogswell had his first career four-hit game.
Garcia again took the loss Monday night after Howard got to him with a tiebreaking two-run single in the top of the ninth. Howard, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, then pitched a perfect bottom half for his sixth save of the year.
Virginia returns to Davenport Field for a Wednesday game against Longwood. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.