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Virginia baseball cruises past Old Dominion 8-1

In a battle between two 20-win squads from the Commonwealth, the Cavaliers triumphed

<p>The Cavaliers comfortably handled the Monarchs ahead of a rivalry series this weekend at Virginia Tech.</p>

The Cavaliers comfortably handled the Monarchs ahead of a rivalry series this weekend at Virginia Tech.

Fresh off its three-game sweep of Florida State, the No. 5 Virginia baseball team cruised to an 8-1 win over Old Dominion Tuesday afternoon at Disharoon Park. The matchup between the Cavaliers (23-2, 7-2 ACC) and the Monarchs (20-5, 5-1 Sun Belt) featured two of the nation’s premier offenses, with both squads among the top-ten run scorers in the nation. It was Virginia’s pitching, however, that proved to be the difference as the Cavaliers improved to 17-0 at home this season.

After a scoreless first inning, Virginia’s bats came alive in the second as sophomore utility player Ethan Anderson and sophomore outfielder Casey Saucke drew back-to-back one-out walks before sophomore infielder Anthony Stephan loaded the bases with a single up the middle.

With the bases juiced, freshman infielder Henry Godbout got the Cavaliers on the board, taking a 1-1 pitch up the middle to plate Anderson and Saucke.

After the Monarchs picked up the second out, sophomore infielder Griff O’Ferrall kept the line moving with an RBI base hit into left field — knocking Old Dominion’s starter out of the game in the process.

A fresh arm could not keep the Virginia bats quiet in the second inning, however, as junior outfielder Ethan O’Donnell blasted the Monarch’s freshman reliever’s first pitch off the scoreboard for a three-run home run.

Anderson, up to bat for the second time in the inning, finished off the Cavaliers’ monster inning with an RBI single to expand the Virginia lead to 7-0.

The Cavaliers offense tacked on one more run in the fourth on an RBI groundout from junior catcher Kyle Teel — who went 2-5 on the afternoon and extended his on-base streak to 25.

With the early lead in hand, the Cavaliers' pitching staff went to work, pounding the zone and racking up a combined 12 strikeouts while giving up just five hits. It was a designated staff day for Virginia, and six Cavalier arms combined to shut down Old Dominion’s typically potent offense.

Junior pitcher Connelly Early was first on the mound for Virginia and faced the minimum through two innings of work, picking off the Monarchs’ only base runner at first after a walk.

Sophomore pitcher Chase Hungate and freshman pitchers Bradley Hodges and Kevin Jaxel got the Cavaliers through the middle innings. The young trio struck out eight while surrendering just one run on four hits.

Sophomore pitcher Jay Woolfolk and junior pitcher Jake Berry then slammed the door shut, working a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, respectively.

Teel, Anderson, Stephan and junior infielder Jake Gelof each had two hits on the afternoon as Virginia outhit Old Dominion 11-5. The Cavaliers have now bested the Monarchs in seven of the past eight meetings between the two programs. The win keeps Virginia’s undefeated home record intact.

Virginia travels to Blacksburg Friday for a three-game series with Virginia Tech. After beginning the season with a higher ranking than the Cavaliers, the Hokies (15-9, 2-7 ACC) have not had the start they had hoped for, especially in conference play. However, Virginia should be wary of a talented Virginia Tech roster ready to prove themselves in a rivalry series. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. with coverage of the Commonwealth Clash airing on ACC Network. 


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