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Virginia evens series behind Abbott’s gem

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva baseballVirginia (10-12, 4-10 ACC) evened the three-game series against No. 19 Miami (11-8, 6-7 ACC) after a 4-0 shutout on Saturday afternoon at Disharoon Park. Lefthander Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) tossed eight shutout innings and the Cavaliers won their 500th game all-time at Disharoon Park.

Abbott limited Miami to just four hits in a career-high eight innings pitched. The southpaw entered the weekend with the most strikeouts in the ACC and added seven more to his total with Saturday’s performance. Abbott got stronger as his outing progressed. Six of his seven strikeouts came in the fourth inning or later and Abbott finished off the outing by retiring the final nine batters. Only one Miami runner made it to second base on the day.

The Cavaliers needed one hit to plate the only four runs of the contest. Miami starting pitcher Victor Mederos walked the bases loaded in the fifth setting the stage for Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.). With one out, the senior tripled off the wall in left center and was awarded home after a Hurricane throwing error. It would prove to be the lone hit for Virginia on afternoon and the game-changing play included one of four defensive miscues for the Hurricanes in the contest.

“Overall, I’m really proud of our guys bouncing back from a tough loss yesterday,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I feel like our energy and our spirit on our team is really, really good. We’re better than we’ve been playing, I really believe that. If you stay positive and play with energy you’re going to come out on the right side of this.

Righthander Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) pitched around a two-out hit in the ninth and struck out the final batter of the game to lock up the shutout. The Cavaliers are the only team in the ACC this season with three shutouts.

“I thought Andrew Abbott was terrific,” O’Connor added. “It was one of the best outings he had in our uniform, probably the best. Only the two walks, to throw eight innings and to pitch that deep with using so many pitchers yesterday was big. I thought (Blake) Bales did a good job coming in and shutting them down at the end.”

The Cavaliers will have a chance to win their first ACC series of the spring in the series finale on Sunday. Virginia will have RHP Mike Vasil on the mound and he will be opposed by Miami RHP Jordan Dubberley. The contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Disharoon Park and will be broadcast live on ACCNX.

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