Richardson’s Clutch Hit Keys Virginia to 8-7 Victory

Courtesy UVA Sports Media Relations

Junior Cayman Richardson singled up the middle to plate the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning in an 8-7 Virginia victory over VCU on Tuesday night at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers won their 11th-straight non-conference game and finish the season 18-5 against non-ACC foes.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the game knotted at seven, Richardson punched the first pitch he saw up the middle, allowing Logan Michaels to score from second base. Michaels reached on a VCU throwing error in the at bat prior, one of two VCU miscues on the night.

Pitching in his last game at Disharoon Park, redshirt senior Riley Wilson faced four batters in the ninth inning and struck out the final VCU hitter of the contest to record his first career save. Wilson is the team’s active leader in career appearances with 54 and the only holdover from the 2015 National Championship team.

The Cavaliers (30-21) squandered a 7-3 lead in going into the eighth after VCU (36-17) knotted the game with a four-run rally. The Rams sent nine batters to the plate and strung together five hits, all singles, to erase the deficit.

The one-run victory for the Cavaliers was the sixth of the season and second against VCU in 2019. The Cavaliers have won six of the last seven games against the Rams and three-straight at Disharoon Park.

Prior to the big eighth inning for VCU, it was the Cavaliers who found themselves in a 3-1 hole after four innings. Michaels pulled the Cavaliers within a run, getting himself into a rundown between first and second base long enough for Nate Eikhoff to score from third in the fifth.

The Cavaliers followed with a four-run rally of their own, ignited by a two-run double to left center by Cameron Simmons that allowed Brendan Rivoli and Zack Gelof, to score, giving Virginia a 4-3 lead, its first of the game. Virginia tacked on two more runs, one on a sacrifice fly by Eikhoff and another on a two-out VCU throwing error.

Virginia used six pitchers to piece together its 30th win of the season. Beginning in the third, sophomore Devin Ortiz pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, running his scoreless streak to 8.1 straight frames. Ortiz got the Cavaliers out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the third inning and struck out a total of three batters in his 15th appearance of the year. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last five appearances, a total of 15 innings.

Freshman Zach Messinger tossed a scoreless inning in the sixth and struck out three of the four batters he faced. He was in line for the win before VCU’s late-game rally. Sophomore Kyle Whitten was credited with this second win of the season.

The top three hitters of the Virginia lineup, Tanner Morris, Nic Kent and Rivoli each put together three-hit efforts.

The Cavaliers will begin a three-game road series at Virginia Tech on Thursday at 6 p.m. All three games of the series will air on ACC Network Extra with games one and two available on WINA 98.9 FM/1070 AM.

Additional Notes

  • Virginia was out-hit, 12-11 in the contest, marking only the fifth time this season Virginia has won a game despite being out-hit.
  • The Cavaliers have put forth three-consecutive double-digit hit efforts.
  • Virginia trailed for the first five innings of the ball game and it was the 19th time the Cavaliers have faced a deficit and won.
  • The win was Brian O’Connor’s 698th of his career and marked the 15th time in 16 seasons as head coach the Cavaliers have won 30-plus games.
  • With three successful stolen base attempts, Virginia has swiped 10 bases in its last three games and ups its season total to 57.
  • Virginia improved to 6-7 in one-run games this season.


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