For the second straight game, the Virginia baseball team found itself on the losing end of a tight, low-scoring game.
North Carolina clinched the weekend series with a 2-1 victory over No. 12 UVa on Saturday at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Dating back to the 2019 season, the Cavaliers (3-3, 0-2 ACC) have lost five straight games to the Tar Heels (6-0, 2-0 ACC), all by one run. UNC won Thursday’s series opener, 3-2.
For the second straight start, Virginia right-hander Griff McGarry struck out nine batters, but allowed two runs (one unearned) to come across in his five innings of work as he suffered his first loss since April 13, 2019. Six of McGarry’s nine strikeouts came in the second and third innings. The senior’s day came to a close when he picked off a runner at first to end the fifth inning.
UVa relievers Blake Bales and Matt Wyatt combined to record the final nine outs of the game. Bales stranded two runners in the sixth with one of his two strikeouts and gave way to Wyatt with two outs in the seventh. Wyatt threw three pitches to finish off the seventh and worked around a walk for a scoreless eighth.
On the other side, North Carolina starter Max Carlson pitched 5.1 innings and recorded five strikeouts. Carlson only allowed four hits and one run and captured his second win in as many starts. Nik Pry pitched the final 3.2 innings for the Heels, allowing just one hit and no runs.
Max Cotier and Logan Michaels each put together two-hit efforts for the Wahoos in the loss. Cotier drove in Virginia’s lone run with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning that allowed Michaels to score from second.
Cotier finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Michaels reached base for the sixth-straight game and produced his second two-hit effort of the 2021 season. The senior captain was 2-for-4 with a run scored and has reached base in 17-straight games dating back to last season.
The Cavaliers put the tying run in scoring position in both the sixth and the seventh innings. Pry inherited runners on first and second with one out in the sixth and struck out the next two batters. The Cavaliers put themselves into position again to tie it in the seventh after a one-out Michaels single to center and a Chris Newell walk, but Pry once again came out unscathed.
North Carolina plated the first of its two runs on a two-out RBI single by Johnny Castagnozzi in the second inning. With runners on first and third in the fourth, Tomas Frick broke for second base and on the putout attempt near the bag, Justice Thompson stole home to score what would prove to be the game-winning run.
Virginia will look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday with right-hander Mike Vasil (1-0) on the mound. He will be opposed by fellow righty Max Alba (1-0). First pitch in Chapel Hill is slated for 1 p.m. The game will air on ACC Network Extra.