Resilient Cavaliers Come Back to Defeat Jacksonville

College Sports

UVA, Virginia Cavaliers

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Virginia (30-24) scored in every inning and collected 21 hits, a program single-game NCAA Tournament record, in a 13-8 win over Jacksonville (16-34) on Saturday (June 5) at Founders Park. The Cavaliers advance to play the winner of top-seeded Old Dominion and host South Carolina on Sunday at noon.

Every batter in the Virginia starting lineup recorded a hit. Junior Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) and freshman Kyle Teel (Mahwah, N.J.) each had four-hit afternoons. Zack Gelof scored twice and also walked in a 4-for-5 effort while Teel went 4-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored. The four hits for Teel were a season-high and he extended his reached base streak to 17 games, tied for the longest on the team this season.

Trailing 7-6 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Virginia captured the lead with a five-run frame and never looked back. The five-run outburst was the 12th time the Cavaliers have rallied for five or more runs in a single inning this season. The spark for the big rally came from a 12-pitch battle contested by Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.) who eventually earned a walk to put runners on first and second with no one out.

The next batter, junior Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) put the Cavaliers on top with a two-run double. Freshman Jake Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) followed with his third home run in the last four games, a two-run shot that gave Virginia a 10-6 advantage. The homer was hit an estimated 436 feet.

Sophomore Nate Savino (Sterling, Va.) locked down the end of the game and pitched the final 4.2 innings, allowing only one run on two hits. He earned his third win of the season.

“Wow. That was a back-and-forth game for sure, head coach Brian O’Connor said. “First of all, I’m really proud of our guys that we found a way after they jumped on Mike Vasil. They had a great approach against him and did a terrific job. Just proud of how we responded offensively and the number of guys that had big days. This is what you have to do when you fall into the losers’ bracket. Sometimes you gotta outslug somebody, and we certainly did that.”

The game featured five lead changes and was tied on two separate occasions. Jacksonville had the lead twice, first after a four-run third inning and again after breaking a 5-5 stalemate in the top of the fifth.

Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) provided some late game insurance with this third home run of the year, a towering blast too right field that landed outside the confines of Founders Park in the bottom of the eighth inning. Newell was 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.

First pitch for tomorrow’s game against either Old Dominion or South Carolina will be at noon on Sunday (June 6). The winner will advance to the regional championship game that is scheduled for 6 p.m. the same evening.

Additional Notes

• Six of the nine UVA hitters put forth multi-hit efforts.

• The 21 hits were the most in a game since racking up 22 against Duke on May 11, 2013. The previous single-game high for UVA hits in the NCAA Tournament was 20 against William & Mary on June 3, 2016.

• The come-from-behind win for Virginia was its 12th of the season and 10th since April 6.

• Saturday’s meeting was the first against Jacksonville since 1999 and the 11th meeting overall. Virginia holds a 6-5 edge in the all-time series that was first played in 1972.

• Jake Gelof has four hits in two NCAA Tournament games, all for extra bases (two doubles, two home runs).

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