Baseball: Virginia moves to 6-0 with 12-9 comeback win over No. 18 Iowa

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

For the second-straight day, No. 14 Virginia prevailed in comeback fashion, this time erasing a six-run deficit in an eventual 12-9 victory over No. 18 Iowa on Saturday night at 121 Financial Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The Cavaliers have come from behind to win five of their six games this season.

Virginia (6-0) scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 9-9 stalemate. Anthony Stephan drew a bases loaded walk and Henry Ford mashed a two-run single through the left side to give UVA the three-run advantage. Casey Saucke and Ethan Anderson each homered in the contest, their first long balls of the season.

UVA trailed twice in the contest and the game was tied on three different occasions. Junior Jay Woolfolk came out of the bullpen and logged a career-high 4.1 scoreless innings of relief and struck out five batters in a no-decision.


Iowa (3-3) sent 10 batters to the plate and each of the first six batters in the lineup reached base in the first inning. The Hawkeyes finished the first frame with six runs, the most in an inning by a UVA opponent since April 23, 2023 against Duke.

The Cavaliers chipped away at the six-run deficit with the first hit of the game from Saucke, a two-run single in the top of the third inning.

Trailing 7-2, the Cavaliers rallied for five runs in the fourth inning. It marked the fourth time in six games UVA has scored five or more runs in an inning this season.

Freshman Eric Becker lined the first pitch he saw in the fourth down the left field line and plated the first UVA run of the frame. Griff O’Ferrall then scored on a wild pitch and Anthony Stephan’s RBI groundout pulled UVA within two.

Junior Ethan Anderson tied the game with his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that capped the five-run fourth inning.

Iowa quickly answered with an RBI single by Davis Cop in the bottom half of the frame and led 8-7.

Saucke delivered in the clutch twice late in the game. He led off the seventh inning with a solo homer over the right centerfield wall to tie the game at eight. Saucke then gave the Cavaliers their first lead of the day with a two-out single to right that scored Stephan from second base. Saucke finished 3-for-6 with a run scored, a home run and three RBI.

The Hawkeyes answered one final time in their half of the eighth, taking advantage of a UVA throwing error that tied the game at nine.

Henry Godbout led the ninth inning off with his fourth hit of the day and it was followed by an infield single by pinch-hitter Bobby Whalen to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. With the bases loaded, Stephan drew his fourth walk of the day to give UVA a 10-9 advantage.

Friday night’s hero, Henry Ford, gave the Cavaliers some insurance in the ninth with a two-out, two-RBI single through the left side.

Blake Barker, making his second appearance in as many days, came on and worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless ninth inning. The lefthander was credited with his first save of the season.


  • The win is the first for Virginia over a ranked non-conference opponent in the regular season since May 7, 2014 against then-No. 22 Liberty.
  • Stephan finished with a career-high four walks, one shy of UVA’s single-game mark. He is one of 22 UVA players ever to have four or more walks in a game.
  • Virginia has trailed in five of its six wins this season.
  • The Cavaliers are winners of 22-straight February games and have won 35-straight games against non-conference opponents in the regular season.
  • Virginia is 6-0 to start the season for the ninth time in 21 seasons under head coach Brian O’Connor.
  • Saturday marked the first ever meeting between Iowa and Virginia.


Virginia will take on Auburn on Sunday in the final game of the Jax College Classic at 4 p.m. The Cavaliers will start lefthander Owen Coady on the mound and he will be opposed by lefty Carson Myers. The game will be streamed on