Virginia falls in ACC Baseball Championship

No. 3 Cavaliers will host NCAA Regional at Davenport Field


Junior two-way player Nick Howard recorded his 18th save of the year Friday night against North Carolina, tying the Virginia single-season record set by Kevin Arico in 2010 and matched by Branden Kline in 2011. Howard is one save away from former Tar Heel Michael Morin’s ACC record, established in 2012.

Dhruve Aidasani | The Cavalier Daily

Virginia competed in the ACC Baseball Championship this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C., winning once and losing twice in first-round action to forfeit its shot at the tournament crown. The No. 3 Cavaliers (44-13, 22-8 ACC) played a trio of close ballgames, scoring 13 runs total while ceding 15.

Virginia, seeded third after finishing the regular season second in the Coastal Division, opened play against sixth-seeded Maryland (36-20, 15-14 ACC), falling behind late and coming up just short in a 7-6 defeat.

With the score tied at four in the top of the seventh inning, Maryland sophomore catcher Kevin Martir cranked a two-run homer off sophomore left-hander David Rosenberger for the third of his team’s four round-trippers. Sophomore first baseman Lamonte Wade extended the Terrapin lead to 7-4 in the eighth with his second long ball of the evening.

Sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy went deep against sophomore right-hander Kevin Mooney in the ninth, but the Terrapins’ closer recovered for the save.

Friday, the Cavaliers won 3-2 against North Carolina (34-25, 15-15 ACC). Redshirt senior right-hander Whit Mayberry earned the win despite yielding a pair of runs out of the bullpen, and junior closer Nick Howard danced out of trouble in the eighth and ninth innings for his 18th save of the year.

Virginia led 2-0 entering the bottom of the seventh. Then, freshman second baseman Wood Myers tagged Mayberry for a game-tying homer. The Cavaliers scored the go-ahead run half an inning later, when McCarthy reached base on a hit-by-pitch, stole second and came home on junior left fielder Derek Fisher’s single.

Florida State (43-15, 21-9 ACC) dominated the late innings Saturday to deal Virginia a 6-4 defeat. The Cavaliers held a 4-1 lead through six but gave it all up in the seventh, when the Seminoles scored four runs against freshman right-hander Connor Jones and sophomore right-hander Josh Sborz.

Sophomore closer Jameis Winston earned a five-out save to seal the outcome. Redshirt senior shortstop Justin Gonzalez provided an assist, making a diving catch and then doubling off Fisher at second base to end the eighth.

Virginia earned the No. 3 national seed in the 64-team NCAA Baseball Championship and will host Arkansas, Liberty and Bucknell in first-round play May 30-June 2. The winner of the double-elimination tournament will play the winner of the Columbia Regional, headlined by No. 6 South Carolina, in a Super Regional June 6-9.

-compiled by Matthew Morris

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