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Baseball wins one, loses two to No. 7 Louisville

After mounting a comeback victory in the first game, the Cavaliers fell in the remaining two against the Cardinals

<p>Virginia's victory in the opening game of this series was its first in an ACC series opener all season.</p>

Virginia's victory in the opening game of this series was its first in an ACC series opener all season.

Louisville and Virginia were pitted against one another in a three-game weekend series in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers (17-17, 9-15 ACC) won the first matchup, but the Cardinals (22-11, 14-6 ACC) took the last two in an impressive fashion.

Game 1 — Virginia 8, Louisville 7

The Cardinals claimed the first two scores of the game and were up 2-0 by the middle of the third. The Cavaliers scored one run in their frame, but Louisville came right back and scored three runs in the fourth — leaving Virginia with an early 5-1 deficit.

The Cardinals only widened their margin in the fifth, bringing their run tally to seven. Senior infielder Devin Ortiz singled for the Cavaliers and set off a chain of impressive at-bats that would allow them to go on an explosive rally.

Ortiz’s single allowed Virginia to score three RBI in a row. Then, a double from sophomore outfielder Chris Newell scored two Cavaliers, and just like that, Virginia was back in the ball game.

On the mound for the first 5.2 innings was senior left-hander Andrew Abbott. He gave up six earned runs and struck out 11 batters before being replaced by senior right-hander Blake Bales.

Neither team would score again until Ortiz hit a fastball over the left wall in the ninth inning. This run was his fifth of the year, and it tied the game up at seven and forced extra innings.

In the 10th inning, junior infielder Zack Gelof earned a walk that would set up the game-winning run. Senior outfielder Brendan Rivoli hit a solid ground ball that allowed graduate catcher Logan Michaels to advance and win.

Defensively, the final innings were pitched by Bales and graduate right-hander Stephen Schoch. Schoch recorded the win as he closed the game for Virginia.

Game 2 — Virginia 5, Louisville 9

The Cavaliers were the first to score during the middle matchup of these two ACC teams. In the third inning, both Virginia and Louisville hit in two runs — leaving the Cavaliers up by one.

Neither team had much action in the fourth inning, but the Cardinals broke out in the fifth. They scored one run in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh to take the 8-3 lead in a commanding fashion.

Louisville added yet another run in the ninth to add some insurance. Virginia would attempt to mount a comeback like it did the previous day, but it was ultimately unsuccessful. The Cavaliers ran in two more, but the Cardinals finished up by four.

Despite winning the game, the Louisville pitching staff failed to record a strikeout in the game.

Game 3 — Virginia 2, Louisville 8

In the rubber match, Louisville’s pitching squad held Virginia scoreless for the first seven innings. During these frames, the Cardinals racked up a whopping seven runs — many of which came as a result of Cavalier errors.

When Virginia finally took advantage of a scoring opportunity, it was Gelof who did it. He hit a strong two-run homer and it tied him with Ortiz for the team lead in home runs this season. Newell was the other Cavalier to score in the game.

Virginia’s unfortunate ending to this series leaves them at an even 17-17 on the season. With the second half of the season well underway, the Cavaliers need to switch something up if they are to keep their postseason hopes alive.

“Louisville has an excellent team and can beat you in a number of different ways,” Coach Brian O’Connor said. “I’m just really proud of our fight.”

The fight will continue Tuesday for the Cavaliers as they head to a midweek matchup against VMI. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.