The Virginia baseball team fell in a 3-0 hole in the first inning and never recovered in a 5-3 loss to VCU on Tuesday night at The Diamond.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Cavaliers (17-18) chipped away at the deficit and were within a run on two different occasions. But VCU (22-14) added a timely insurance run in the sixth on a solo home run by Hunter Vay and another in the ninth, scoring on a UVa throwing error.
Brendan Rivoli had his team-leading 14th multi-hit game of the season for Virginia, finishing with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Nic Kent reached in all four plate appearances and was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.
After Virginia starting pitcher Griff McGarry struggled in the first inning, Zach Messinger allowed an inherited runner to score but retired the final three batters to limit the VCU damage.
Messinger went on to have the most productive outing by a Virginia reliever this season. He struck out a career-high 10 batters over 4.1 scoreless innings, his longest outing as a Cavalier. Beginning in the second, Messinger sat down 10 of the final 12 batters he faced. The 10-strikeout performance was the third time this season a Virginia pitcher has recorded double-digit strikeouts, both other occasions belong to Andrew Abbott.
Including Messinger, four Cavalier relievers combined to allow just one earned run and struck out 15 batters over eight innings of work.