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Virginia Holds Off VCU in Road Midweek Victory

302sports 383 May 3

       (Gelof, UVA)

Virginia (27-20) won its 10th consecutive non-conference game with a 3-2 victory over VCU (30-15) at the Diamond on Tuesday night (April 30).
VCU designated hitter Liam Hibbits spoiled in what otherwise was a magnificent day on the mound for the Virginia pitching staff by cracking a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Ram threat ended there as Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) induced a game-ending fly out to center field for his club-best ninth save of the season.
Virginia starting pitcher Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.), Devin Ortiz (Irvington, N.J.) and Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) combined for 8.1 shutout innings of three-hit baseball.
Ortiz was credited with his fourth win of the season after pitching 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. He retired the first seven batters he faced including the last two of the fourth inning where he stranded a runner in scoring position. He finished with three strikeouts and has not allowed an earned run over his last 10 innings pitched, a span of three outings.
Messinger sat down the first eight batters he faced before issuing a full count walk to nine-hole hitter Alex Taylor. His no-hit bid came to a close on the next batter as Hogan Brown singled up the middle. Messinger totaled 3.1 innings, his second-longest outing of the season and struck out a pair of Ram hitters.
The Cavaliers offense scored three times over its first six turns at the plate. Freshman Zack Gelof (Cape Henlopen) went 3-for-4 and scored two of the three Cavalier runs. Gelof also swiped his 14th base of the year, moving him into a tie with Jarrett Parker for the third most by a UVA freshman.
Seniors Jack Weiller (Katonah, N.Y.) and Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) each had run scoring hits in the second and sixth innings, respectively. Sophomore Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) drove in the second Virginia run with a single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to six games.
Virginia will have a nine-day break before resuming Atlantic Coast Conference play at Disharoon Park on May 10 against Louisville.
Additional Notes
• VCU came into the game ranked second in the country in doubles. The Rams did not have a runner cross second until the ninth on Hibbits' home run.
• Virginia improved to 10-2 against Commonwealth opponents and 17-6 against non-conference foes this season.
• The Cavaliers concluded a four-game road trip and are now 7-8 away from Disharoon Park this season.
• The two teams will finish a home and home series on May 14 in Charlottesville. It will be the final regular season home game for the Cavaliers.