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COLLEGE BASEBALL

Virginia baseball team drops regular season finale to Louisville

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The Virginia baseball team wrapped up the regular season on a sour note Saturday with an 11-3 loss to Louisville at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The Cardinals (38-16-1, 18-11-1) scored the game’s first seven runs and never looked back en route to earning their second series win over the Cavaliers in as many seasons.

“Just a tough loss,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “Two really, really great teams and Louisville did a great job of being opportunistic in the first two innings. You have to tip your hat to them, they did the job offensively. We just didn’t execute and then we didn’t take advantage of some opportunities we had.”

Louisville pitchers Carson Liggett and Tate Kuehner combined to limit the Virginia offense to four hits and no runs over the first six innings. The Cavaliers scored all three of their runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Griff O’Ferrall and Justin Rubin each had two hits to lead Virginia. Devin Ortiz hit his seventh home run of the series and second in as many days to lead off the eighth inning.

Alex Tappen was credited with his 70th RBI of the season in the game and became just the third Cavalier ever to drive in 70 runs in a season.

Louisville scored six runs in its first two trips to the plate, including a four-run rally in the second. The first two runs of the day came on a two-out RBI single by Levi Usher in the bottom of the first inning.

The Cardinals hit a pair of two-run homers in the second inning, one off the bat of Ben Metzinger and the other by Jack Payton.

Trailing 7-0, Virginia got on the board with an RBI single through the left side from Rubin that scored Ethan Anderson. The Cavaliers made it a five-run game when Chris Newell scored on an RBI groundout from Tappen.

Louisville responded in the bottom of the seventh with its third homer of the day to push the lead to 7-3.

Ortiz capped UVa’s scoring with a solo blast to lead off the eighth.

The Cardinals ended any hopes of a Cavalier comeback in their half of the eighth with a three-run homer by Dalton Rushing.

Virginia is locked into the fifth seed for the upcoming ACC Tournament in Charlotte, N.C. Game times for pool play will be announced by the league office on Sunday morning.

“There’s no shame in where we finished in the top college baseball league in the country,” O’Connor said.

“We had a terrific regular season, we grew, learned a lot and now we shift our focus on getting the opportunity to win a championship.”

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