The Virginia baseball team hung tough for seven innings Saturday night against NC State, but a late-innings breakdown cost the No. 24 Cavaliers (34-22, 15-15 ACC) in a 10-2 defeat at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina.
Freshman left-hander Adam Haseley tossed a career-high four and two-thirds innings for Virginia, and sophomore right-hander Alec Bettinger recorded seven straight outs after taking over on the mound. But the Wolfpack (34-21, 15-14 ACC) piled up eight runs in the eighth inning, turning a 2-2 ballgame into a rout.
NC State got the wheels turning in the eighth when sophomore designated hitter Andrew Knizner smacked a two-run double off the left-field wall, chasing Bettinger from the game.
Wolfpack senior right fielder Bubby Riley delivered the haymaker with a grand slam off junior left-hander David Rosenberger, who had intentionally walked junior second baseman Ryne Willard to load the bases for a possible double play.
Five batters and a run later, Knizner lined out to end the frame. Virginia threatened but did not score in the bottom half, and a scoreless ninth sealed the win for NC State.
Haseley — a two-way player making his fourth collegiate start — notched two hits for the Cavaliers, scoring the game’s first run after sophomore catcher Matt Thaiss backed up his leadoff double with an RBI groundout.
Freshman left fielder Pavin Smith smoked a triple to lead off the sixth and crossed home plate — tying the score at two — on junior first baseman Robbie Coman’s sacrifice fly.
Haseley gave up two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out one. Bettinger took the loss for Virginia.
The Cavaliers exit the ACC Baseball Championship with three losses and a win. Virginia figures to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament, the bracket of which will be revealed Monday at noon.