The No. 2 Virginia baseball team scored twice in the seventh inning to rally and top Virginia Tech, 2-1, Friday evening in the opener of a three-game ACC series at Davenport Field. Nate Irving hit the tie-breaking single in the seventh inning to lift the Cavaliers to 21-4 overall and 8-2 in the ACC.
UVa’s bullpen worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings in support of starter Nathan Kirby. Whit Mayberry tossed 1 2/3 innings to earn the win and improve to 2-1, while Nick Howard pitched the ninth inning to claim his seventh save in as many opportunities. Kirby recorded his seventh straight quality start, pitching 6 1/3 innings and allowing a run, four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Mike Papi went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, recording half of the Cavaliers’ hits on the evening.
Virginia Tech scored its lone run in the third inning when Ricky Surum singled home Tom Stoffel, who singled to lead off the inning, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Irving.
The Hokies threatened to extend their lead in the sixth inning, loading the bases with one out. Sean Keselica hit a slow grounder to second, but Branden Cogswell and shortstop Daniel Pinero turned a slick double play to end the inning.
After Markey shut the Cavaliers out on just three hits over six innings, Virginia broke through with a pair of runs in the seventh inning. Papi cranked the first pitch to right-center for a double. He moved to third on a Howard sacrifice and scored when Joe McCarthy singled to right. With two outs McCarthy stole second base and he came home on a single to left by Irving.
Surum tripled off the wall in left-center field with two outs in the ninth, but Howard bounced back from a 2-0 count to strike out pinch hitter Andrew Mogg to end the game.
The series continues at 1 p.m. Saturday.
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