Alec Bettinger gave the Virginia baseball team the best start of his young college career Tuesday night. In return, the Cavaliers gave the freshman a seven-run sixth inning, and his third win of the season.
Bettinger pitched six shutout innings for UVa, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out two, to help the Cavaliers knock off Old Dominion 7-1 at Davenport Field. Bettinger improved to 3-0 on the season with the win.
"Alec Bettinger was tremendous tonight," UVa coach Brian O'Connor said after the game. "I felt like he really grew up as a pitcher for us. He's made a couple of really nice starts for us. This obviously was his best."
Bettinger began his first college season in the UVa bullpen. But with senior pitcher Artie Lewicki out for more than a month with an oblique injury, Bettinger has grown into the role of a starter.
"It wasn't the plan at the beginning of the year, for me to be the mid-week guy," he said. "But ever since Artie went down, I just kind of had to pick it up."
"The mindset of a starter should be to try to eat up as many innings as possible, and just let your bullpen take it over, which we did tonight," Bettinger added. "So it worked out well for us."
UVa did all of its damage at the plate with a seven-run sixth inning, which was jump-started by another freshman, Daniel Pinero. The shortstop drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single up the middle to get the Cavaliers on the board.
After a Mike Papi walk, Brandon Downes singled to left to drive in two more, then Joe McCarthy followed with a fly ball to left-center that fell in for a two-run double. Robbie Coman capped the scoring with an RBI single.
The Cavaliers improved to 20 games above .500 (24-4) with Tuesday's win, the team's seventh in a row. O'Connor said Lewicki will return from his injury to start for UVa Wednesday night against George Washington at Davenport.