The Virginia baseball team put together one of its best performances of the season on Friday night in an 18-1 victory over Virginia Tech to kick off a three-game series in Blacksburg.
The Cavaliers (21-19, 12-16 ACC) cranked out 17 hits and 18 runs as they won their third-straight ACC series opener. The 17-run margin of victory over the Hokies (22-16, 15-13 ACC) was the largest in the 122-year history of the series.
The Virginia offense posted season-highs in runs (18), hits (17), RBI (17) and total bases (27) in the game. The 18 runs in ACC play were the most since the Wahoos compiled 18 against Duke on March 17, 2011.
After Virginia Tech scored the game’s opening run in the fourth inning, Virginia rattled off 18 unanswered runs. The Hokies’ lead was erased almost immediately by a solo home run by the leadoff hitter Nic Kent in the top of the fifth.
The former St. Anne’s-Belfield standout led was one of nine Cavaliers to record a hit in Friday’s game. Kent finished 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBI. It was the third time this season he has driven in four or more runs.
Freshman Kyle Teel also drove in four runs and scored a season-high three times. The first year catcher hit a three-run homer that capped a seven-run fifth inning rally, the Cavaliers’ largest single-inning output of the season.
Max Cotier and Devin Ortiz each had a game-high three hits. From the two-hole in the lineup, Cotier went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and collected a pair of RBI. He broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth with a two-RBI single through the right side. Ortiz went 3-for-4, scored three times and drove in two runs.
True freshman Jake Gelof made the most of his first career start at first base and only his sixth time all season on the lineup card. Batting eighth, he went 3-for-6 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI, all season-highs.
The run support was more than enough for Virginia starter Andrew Abbott, who earned his fifth win of the year after seven innings of four-hit baseball. The left-hander allowed one unearned run and did not walk a batter for the second straight outing. Abbott fanned eight batters, bringing his season total up to 99 and moved into sole possession of fifth place on UVa’s career strikeout list with 264.