The Virginia baseball team’s roller coaster regular season is over.
The Cavaliers dropped their regular-season finale to Boston College on Saturday by a final score of 8-6, finishing the year with a 27-22 record, including an 18-18 mark in ACC play. They won the series against the Eagles by taking the first two games as part of a late-season surge.
Brian O’Connor’s team started the season 4-12 in the ACC before rattling off wins in 14 of their final 20 conference contests. Virginia will head into the ACC Tournament with extreme confidence and a resume that’s likely good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, although a win or two in Charlotte in pool play could help the cause.
UVa jumped all over Boston College on Saturday, scoring in the first inning like it did in the first two games of the series. The Wahoos put up three first-inning runs, leaning on doubles.
Junior Zack Gelof led off the game with a double, and freshman Kyle Teel and junior Nic Kent drove in runs in the inning with RBI doubles of their own. Teel’s came first, and Kent’s drove in a pair of runs.
Sophomore starting pitcher Nate Savino didn’t allow a hit in the first two innings. He seemed poised to build upon a recent stretch of impressive starts, and UVa seemed ready to cruise to a series sweep.
Unfortunately for the left-handed pitcher, a strong start turned sour in the third inning. Some command issues and three Boston College hits tied the game at 3-3 after three innings. Boston College’s top MLB prospects, juniors Sal Frelick and Cody Morissette, both delivered RBI in the frame.
Kent came through with his third RBI of the day in the fourth inning, launching a solo home run over the left-field fence. The blast put Virginia back on top 4-3 after four innings.
It all went downhill for UVa from there.
The Eagles delivered two runs in the fifth, chasing Savino from the game after 4 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up five earned runs.
Trailing only 5-4 after five frames, Virginia was well within striking distance. Boston College, however, did well to string hits together against Virginia’s usually reliable bullpen. The Eagles tallied two runs in the fifth, one run in the sixth and another two runs in the seventh inning.
Once again, Morissette and Frelick were the key issues for UVa. Morissette hit a two-run home run in the fifth before adding a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Frelick recorded one of the RBI in the seventh, being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The duo combined for four hits and six RBI on the day.
Boston College led 8-4 after seven innings.
Virginia didn’t go down without a fight, though.
Senior Logan Michaels delivered a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth, and Gelof followed with a sacrifice fly to pull the Cavaliers within two runs.
Unfortunately for Virginia, that’s as close as it got the rest of the way. Boston College did just enough on the mound to squeak out an 8-6 victory.
Virginia earned the No. 8 seed for the ACC Tournament, which begins Tuesday. The Cavaliers are in Pool A with top-seeded Notre Dame and No. 12 seed Virginia Tech. The Hokies scuffled to end the season, losing 13 of their final 15 ACC games. They may need a strong showing in the conference tournament to make the NCAA Tournament field.
One team advances from each pool to the Saturday semifinals, which means UVa and Virginia Tech have their work cut out for them. Both the Cavaliers and Hokies were swept by Notre Dame this spring.