The UVA pitching staff held ODU's third-ranked offense to just one run on five hits in Tuesday's win at Disharoon Park
As Virginia looked to avenge a loss to Old Dominion from last season, the UVA pitchers had their work cut out for them as the Monarchs brought one of the nation's most high-powered offenses to Charlottesville. Coming into this game, Old Dominion ranked 4th in all of college baseball in team batting average (.329), third in home runs (57), and third in scoring (20.6 runs per game). That offense led the Monarchs to a 20-4 start coming into this in-state showdown, which featured two of just 11 NCAA teams with 20 or more wins this season.
The UVA bats came ready for a shootout, putting up seven runs in the second inning, but the Cavalier pitching staff was even better, limiting the Monarchs to one run on just five hits, allowing No. 8 Virginia to cruise to an impressive 8-1 victory over Old Dominion on Tuesday afternoon at Disharoon Park.
Virginia scored in only two innings, but a big crooked number in the bottom of the second was enough for the Cavaliers to beat the Monarchs thanks to a strong showing from the UVA pitching staff.
Back-to-back walks from Ethan Anderson and Casey Saucke followed by a single from Anthony Stephan loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with one out. The freshman Henry Godbout came up and delivered a two-run single up the middle to break the scoreless tie. Old Dominion starter Robert Cook struck out Harrison Didawick to get to two outs, but Griff O'Ferrall poked an 0-2 pitch into left field for another RBI. ODU lifted Cook in favor of Landen Burch, whose first pitch was blasted off the scoreboard in right center field by Ethan O'Donnell for a three-run home run.
Jake Gelof and Kyle Teel followed that up with a couple of singles and then Ethan Anderson singled up the middle to score Gelof, giving Virginia a 7-0 lead.
UVA scored again in the bottom of the fourth as O'Donnell was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a Gelof single, moved over to third on a passed ball, and came home on a groundout from Teel to make it 8-0. That would be Virginia's final run of the game, but that ended up being plenty of run support for the Cavalier pitching staff, which delivered an outstanding performance to neutralize Old Dominion's high-octane offense.
Connelly Early got the start and retired six of the seven batters he faced, striking out two batters in two scoreless innings and earning the victory to move to 6-0 this season. Chase Hungate struck out three batters and pitched into the fourth inning before handing the ball over to Bradley Hodges, who worked through the fifth inning, but gave up ODU's only run of the game on an RBI double by Tyler Wheeler.
Kevin Jaxel retired the side in order in the sixth, assisted by an incredible diving catch from Harrison Didawick.
Virginia nearly added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded, but Henry Godbout flied out to the warning track in right field to end the inning. Jaxel remained on the mound in the seventh and gave up a pair of singles, but recorded a clutch strikeout to end the inning with no damage done. Jay Woolfolk entered the game in the eighth and gave up a walk, but retired the side with no further issues.
In the top of the ninth, Jake Berry manufactured some drama by walking two batters and giving up a single to load the bases with one out, but Berry picked up a strikeout and an infield popout to end the game, securing Virginia's 8-1 victory.
With the win, Virginia remains undefeated at home this season and improves to 23-2 overall. Up next, UVA will head to Blacksburg for a three-game series at Virginia Tech this weekend.
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