Baseball sweeps Pittsburgh in weekend series

Cavaliers tied for first place in ACC Coastal

Senior center fielder Cameron Simmons went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs in Friday's victory over Pittsburgh. Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia baseball team (13-10, 5-4 ACC) swept a three-game weekend series against Pittsburgh (7-15, 1-8 ACC) at Disharoon Park. With their win Sunday, the Cavaliers moved into a tie for first place in the ACC Coastal division.

Game 1: Virginia - 13, Pittsburgh - 3

The Cavaliers beat the Panthers behind strong hitting from senior center fielder Cameron Simmons, who went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four runs batted in.

Pittsburgh took an early 1-0 lead on a leadoff home run by senior left fielder Connor Perry. However, Simmons drove in two runs in the third to put the Cavaliers ahead.

With Virginia up 7-3 in the sixth, Simmons launched a two-run homer to left center, his team-high fourth of the year. The Cavaliers scored four more runs in the eighth to win 13-3. 

Junior right-hander Noah Murdock, Virginia’s starting pitcher, went 6.2 innings, surrendering three runs on eight hits to earn the win.

Game 2: Virginia - 7, Pittsburgh - 5

Virginia scored three runs in the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie for the win.

The Cavaliers went ahead 2-0 in the second inning. Junior right fielder Cayman Richardson tripled in senior first baseman Nate Eikhoff, then junior catcher Logan Michaels drove in Richardson with a single. 

Perry homered off Virginia sophomore right-hander Griff McGarry in the third to cut the lead to a single run, then Pittsburgh scored two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to go ahead, 4-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, Virginia freshman second baseman Nic Kent doubled then scored on two wild pitches, making the score 4-3. Simmons scored on a Pittsburgh error in the seventh to tie the game.

Virginia went ahead in the eighth when Michaels scored on another Pittsburgh error, then sophomore shortstop Tanner Morris and Simmons each hit RBI doubles for insurance.

Game 3: Virginia - 5, Pittsburgh - 2

Pittsburgh junior shortstop David Yanni got first blood with a solo homer in the second inning, then Richardson drove in Simmons with a single in the bottom of the frame, making it 1-1.

The game was tied at one apiece through the sixth inning, when Virginia freshman third baseman Zack Gelof homered to left to put his team up by a run. Pittsburgh freshman second baseman Gregory Ryan Jr. then hit a home run of his own in the seventh to tie the game. 

In the bottom of the seventh, Kent hit his first collegiate homer, a three-run blast to left-center that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good.

The win went to junior reliever Paul Kosanovich, his fourth of the year, and sophomore right-hander Kyle Whitten got the last two outs for his third save of the season.

The Cavaliers next play Tuesday at home against Longwood. First pitch is for 4 p.m. at Disharoon Park.

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