Over the weekend, Virginia (20-1, 5-1 ACC) swept Boston College (9-11, 1-5 ACC) in a three-game series at Disharoon Park, before defeating Towson (7-14) 15-3 on Tuesday afternoon. With the win over Towson, the Cavaliers are off to their best start in program history, going 20-1 over their first 21 games.
After the first game in the series had to be decided with extra innings, Virginia dominated the Eagles in the final two games of the series, winning by a combined margin of 26 runs. The Cavalier offense continued to roll against Towson, with Virginia scoring the first 10 runs of the game. The Cavaliers have now won 18 straight games at home, with the streak going back to last season.
Game 1 - Virginia 10, Boston College 9
It took a walk-off RBI single for Virginia to avoid the upset bid from Boston College on Friday afternoon at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers struck first in the game, scoring in the first. Freshman right-fielder Corey Saucke extended the lead in the second inning with a home run for the third straight game. The home-run party continued for Virginia with Griff and graduate student first-baseman Devin Ortiz both hitting solo shots to put the Cavaliers up 4-1.
Boston College’s junior center-fielder Barry Walsh and Virginia’s sophomore catcher Kyle Teel traded solo home runs in the fifth to bring the score to 5-2. A run by the Eagles in the sixth brought Boston College within two heading into the eighth. With two outs remaining in the top of the eighth inning, junior designated-hitter Parker Landwehr sent a three-run homer over the wall to give the Eagles a 6-5 lead, their first of the day. The Cavaliers then tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth off of a sacrifice fly by graduate student left-fielder Alex Tappen.
Graduate student reliever Will Geerdes took the mound for Virginia and retired all six batters in the ninth and 10th innings to give the Cavalier offense a chance to win in the bottom of the 10th. Teel reached first after a walk and quickly advanced to second following a sacrifice bunt from Ortiz. Boston College then walked sophomore third-baseman Jake Gelof and loaded the bases after Tappen was hit by a pitch. Junior center-fielder Chris Newell ended the game with a deep shot that was just short of the wall, but it allowed Teel to score, ending the game 10-9.
“That was a tremendous college baseball game,” Coach Brian O’Connor said. “Will Geerdes, our closer, came in and having the two shutout innings to give us a chance to win in the bottom of the 10th was awesome. (Chris) Newell came through and it was a total collective team effort.”
Game 2 - Virginia 18, Boston College 1
The second game of the series was an offensive onslaught for the Cavaliers that saw five home runs, including two grand slams, in the series-clinching victory. Virginia opened the scoring in the second, scoring eight runs and matching their highest single-inning scoring of the season.
The Cavaliers first grand slam of the day was provided by Teel in the second. It was his third of the season. Teel finished the game with a career-high four runs scored and four RBI.
The offense kept flowing for Virginia, scoring three runs in the fifth. Tappen extended the lead with a three-run shot in the seventh to extend the lead to 14-1. Tappen earned ACC Player of the Week Honors following the weekend series against Boston College. Newell finished the scoring for the Cavaliers with a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to bring the final score to 18-1.
“Our guys came out ready and swung the bat with some authority. It was a collective effort offensively and we played really good defense as well,” Coach O’Connor said.
Game 3 - Virginia 16, Boston College 8
Virginia cruised to a 16-8 win over Boston College to clinch the conference series sweep. RBI singles from Gelof and Tappen in the first gave the Cavaliers a 2-0 advantage. Virginia extended its lead to six after scoring four runs in the third. The Eagles and the Cavaliers went back and forth in the fifth and six innings to bring the score to 11-5.
A three-run homer in the eighth for Boston College closed Virginia’s lead to three, but the Cavaliers responded with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal the victory. A two-run home run by Tappen, a ground-rule double and a Boston College fielding error resulted in a final score of 16-8 for Virginia.
Game 4 - Virginia 15, Towson 3
The Cavaliers capped off their six-game homestand by defeating Towson 15-3. Virginia jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first inning following a sacrifice fly from Tappen and three RBI singles. Gelof opened the second inning with a solo home run, his NCAA-leading 13th home run of the season. By the end of the second, the Cavaliers had extended their lead to 10.
The Tigers got on the board in the top of the fifth before another explosion of offense from Virginia in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman second-baseman Justin Rubin hit his first career home run with a two-run shot over the left field wall.
Four freshmen – infielder Griff O’Ferrall, catcher and outfielder Colin Tuft, infielder Justin Rubin and Saucke combined for 11 of the 16 Virginia hits in the game. Freshman left-hander Matthew Buchanan started the game for the Cavaliers on the mound and earned the win, striking out four batters in four innings.
“I thought [Matthew Buchanan] did another great job, another quality start for us and it was good to see all those guys get some work in out of the bullpen,” Coach O’Connor said. “It’s just great to see that…there’s other guys, even these rookies, these first years that are stepping up and delivering big hits and doing a nice job.”
Virginia will head to Winston-Salem this weekend for a three-game conference series against Wake Forest. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday with all three games airing on ACCNX.