Cavalier bats explode in 20-1 series-opening victory over Dartmouth

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia scored seven runs in its first turn at the plate and never looked back in a 20-1 win over Dartmouth on Friday evening at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers (7-3) accumulated a season-high 22 hits, including four doubles, three triples and a pair of homers in the victory.

Most of the offensive fireworks happened the first and the seventh innings with rallies of seven runs and eight runs, respectively. Four Cavalier pitchers limited the Big Green (2-3) to two hits, both by second baseman Blake Crossing, and struck out a season-high 16 batters.

Starting pitcher Griff McGarry had his best outing as a Cavalier and struck out a career-best 12 batters in six innings of work. The right-hander has allowed two runs in 16 innings pitched and totaled 26 strikeouts through three starts. McGarry delivered the second quality start by a Cavalier starter this season and fifth of his career.

“It was a big offensive day and it was nice to see Nic Kent and (Zack) Gelof, guys who have been there quite a bit leading the charge for us,” said head coach Brian O’Connor. “Collectively has a group there were a lot of guys that chipped in offensively. Most importantly we’ve been stressing the last few days about raising our level of play defensively and we did that tonight.”

Every player in the Virginia starting lineup recorded a hit. Kent led the way with a 4-for-4, four-RBI effort at the plate. He belted his first home run of the season to lead off the fifth inning, his fourth long ball of his career. The four-hit game was second of the season.

Freshman Chris Newell provided the big blow in the bottom of the seventh with the team’s second grand slam of the season. The towering shot to right field gave Virginia an 18-1 lead and was the first-year’s second home run of the season. The long ball capped a 2-for-4, two-run, four-RBI day at the plate.

Gelof produced his fifth straight multi-hit game with a 3-for-4, three RBI day. In his last five contests, Gelof is 12 for 19 (.632) with four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.

Of the three Cavalier triples on the day, two came off the bat of Max Cotier as he had his first three-hit performance as a Cavalier. Junior Christian Hlinka recorded his first career triple in a three-hit effort.

Graduate student Evan Sperling and Jacob Hodorovich combined to pitch the final 2.1 innings. Hodorovich worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the Cavalier victory.

The Cavaliers and Big Green will square off in the middle game of a three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. The Cavaliers will have right-hander Mike Vasil on the mound while Dartmouth will send righty, Nathan Skinner.

Box Score

Additional Notes

  • The 20-run effort was the first since a 20-7 win over Wagner on March 9, 2016. It marked the 10th time Virginia has scored 20 or more runs under O’Connor.
  • The last time Virginia collected 20 or more hits was on March 25, 2017 when the Cavaliers racked up 20 in a 13-7 win over Duke. The 22 hits are tied for the eighth most in single game under O’Connor (since 2004)
  • The last Cavalier to hit two triples in a game was Adam Haseley on May 27, 2016 against Wake Forest.
  • Junior transfer Walker Jenkins was credited with his first hit as a Cavalier with a single in the seventh inning.

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