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No. 19 Miami pulls away for 4-2 win over Virginia in series finale

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva baseballNo. 19 Miami (12-8, 7-7 ACC) scored in three of its final four trips to the plate to come away with a 4-2 victory over Virginia (10-13, 4-11 ACC) in the series finale at Disharoon Park on Sunday.

With the game tied at two, the Hurricanes scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Raymond Gil that scored Christian Del Castillo. Miami added an insurance run in the eighth on a leadoff home run by Yohandy Morales, the third baseman’s second of the series.

Virginia starter Mike Vasil (Wellesley, Mass.) pitched into the eighth inning for the second time in his career. The righthander was charged with three of the four Miami runs and struck out four batters. After a Cavalier fielding error to lead off the game, Vasil sat down the next nine batters before the Hurricanes recorded their first hit in the fourth. Vasil kept Virginia in the ball game after surrendering seven hits between the sixth and seventh innings and allowing only two runs to cross the plate.

“Mike (Vasil) continues to do a phenomenal job starting for our team,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “No walks and he gets them to put the ball in play. I thought he was terrific. (Brandon) Neeck did a great job and so did (Blake) Bales. We just couldn’t cash in when we had our opportunities offensively.”

After Miami took the 3-2 lead in the seventh, The Cavaliers had runners at the corners with one out but Hurricane pitcher Daniel Federman came up with a big strikeout for the second out of the frame and then snagged a sharp ground ball hit right back at him to end the Virginia threat.

Federman pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowed three hits and struck out five. He recorded his first win of the 2021 season. Carson Palmquist pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning and recorded his seventh save of the year and second of the series.

Senior Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) tied the game at one in fourth inning with a two-out, opposite-field single that scored Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) from second base. Rivoli was 2-for-4 on the day, his second two-hit performance of the series. He has driven in a run for the Cavaliers in four of the last five games.

Virginia captured its only lead on a Hurricane two-out throwing error in the fifth that allowed Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.) to score from second.

Miami scored a run in the next three innings beginning with an RBI single by Jordan Lala in the sixth to tie the game at two.

After the Morales home run in the eighth, reliever Brandon Neeck (Chappaqua, N.Y.) sat down the next three batters and gave way to Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) in the ninth. The righthander kept the game at 4-2 after stranding two runners. Bales hasn’t allowed a run in 12 appearances, a total of 16.2 innings pitched.

Seven of the next eight games will be on the road for Virginia beginning with a midweek matchup at George Washington on Tuesday (March 30). The contest is scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch and will air live on ESPN+.

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