After leaving the bases loaded in the ninth inning, the top-ranked Virginia baseball team lost its regular-season finale, 4-3, to Wake Forest Saturday at Wake Forest Baseball Park. The Cavaliers dropped the series, two games to one, snapping a streak of 11 straight ACC series wins, dating to the 2013 season.
With the loss, UVa is now 43-11 this season and 22-8 in the ACC. The 'Hoos finish second in the ACC Coastal Division standings behind Miami. The Cavaliers will be the No. 3 seed in the upcoming ACC Baseball Championship, which begins Tuesday at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
Nick Howard and Mike Papi each hit solo home runs for Virginia, while Robbie Coman had a pair of hits. UVa had runners on base in eight of nine innings but stranded 11, including leaving the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
Virginia starting pitcher Brandon Waddell worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, five hits and two walks while striking out five. Waddell, who suffered the defeat and fell to 7-3 on the year, had pitched at least six innings in each of his last 10 starts.
Down 1-0, Howard put the 'Hoos on the board and tied the game in the sixth when he hit a solo shot to left field, his first home run of the year.
Wake Forest came back to take the lead for good, scoring three runs in its half of the sixth. With one out and runners on second and third, Virginia brought in reliever Connor Jones. Will Craig pulled Jones’ first pitch down the left-field line for a two-run single. With two outs, Ben Breazeale singled to center to plate pinch runner Kevin Conway.
The Cavaliers scored a run in the seventh when Papi cranked a two-out solo home run to right field. The blast was Papi’s ACC-leading 10th homer of the season.
The Cavaliers pulled within a run in the ninth inning, loading the bases with two outs and then scoring a run when second baseman Nate Mondou booted a routine grounder from Derek Fisher. Dunshee rebounded to strike out Howard swinging to end the game.