For eight innings, Virginia's lineup struggled to get much going against Duke starter Trent Swart. But in the ninth, neither closer Andrew Istler nor a sudden storm could stop the Cavaliers.
Virginia rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth to beat the Blue Devils 6-5 Friday night. With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 40-8 on the season. It's the eighth time in the past 10 seasons the Virginia program has reached the 40-win plateau.
Brandon Downes' one-out triple started the Cavaliers' rally. Downes scored on a wild pitch during Derek Fisher's at-bat, then Fisher singled on the next pitch. Immediately after Fisher's hit, the field was cleared for almost an hour because of rain and lightning.
When play resumed, a Nick Howard single was followed by a Reed Gragnani RBI single, tying the game 5-5. After an intentional walk to Kenny Towns to load the bases, Nate Irving singled through a drawn-in infield to give the Cavaliers the win.
Istler took the loss for Duke, spoiling Swart's eight-inning effort for the Blue Devils. Swart gave up three runs (only two earned) and five hits, and retired 23 of the last 26 Virginia hitters he faced.
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