Baseball wins two midweek clashes

The Cavaliers defeat James Madison and Norfolk State

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Freshman second baseman Nic Kent had four hits Wednesday against Norfolk State. Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia baseball team (21-13, 8-7 ACC) beat James Madison (18-16, 2-7 CAA) 9-3 on the road Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Park and Norfolk State (11-18, 7-5 MEAC) 14-4 at home Wednesday night at Disharoon Park.

Virginia 9, James Madison 3

The visiting Cavaliers scored in each of the first five innings to down the Dukes.

Sophomore left fielder Brendan Rivoli got Virginia going with a three-run homer in the top of the first. The two teams traded runs in the second to make the score 4-1. 

In the top of the third, senior first baseman Nate Eikhoff drove in senior center fielder Cameron Simmons with an RBI single to right. Eikhoff led the Cavaliers with three hits on the night.

Rivoli hit his second homer of the night and his fifth of the season in the fourth, a solo shot to nearly the same spot in right-center field as his first. 

Virginia scored two more runs in the fifth, including an RBI single to left by junior catcher Logan Michaels, but James Madison added a run to make it 8-2. Each team scored their final run of the game in the ninth.

The win for Virginia went to senior right-hander Grant Donahue. Sophomore right-hander Devin Ortiz pitched four innings of scoreless relief for the Cavaliers, giving up only two hits and one run while striking out a career-high five batters.

Virginia 14, Norfolk State 4

Virginia beat the Spartans at home thanks to four hits from freshman second baseman Nic Kent and three from sophomore right fielder Alex Tappen.

Norfolk State jumped out to the early lead with a ground-rule double in the top of the first off Virginia freshman left-hander Billy Price. However, the Cavaliers equalized in their half of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Ortiz, serving as the designated hitter Wednesday after pitching four innings Tuesday.

Sophomore shortstop Tanner Morris hit an RBI double in the bottom of the second to score Tappen, his ACC-leading 18th of the year, then Kent drove in Morris with a single. Virginia added two more runs in the third, including on an RBI single by Ortiz and a double by Tappen, but Norfolk State scored one in their next turn at the plate to make it 6-2.

Kent singled to right with two outs in the fifth, driving in junior center fielder Cayman Richardson all the way from first base. Virginia then batted around in the sixth, scoring five runs and going ahead 12-2. The Cavaliers scored two more in the bottom of the seventh, and Norfolk State scored two in the top of the eighth for a final score of 14-4.

Senior right-hander Chesdin Harrington got the win on the mound after 3.2 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits.

The Cavaliers will stay at home for a three-game weekend series against Miami this weekend. The games will start at 6 p.m. today, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Disharoon Park.

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