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Virginia topples No. 22 Virginia Tech in series opener

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva baseballVirginia (21-19, 12-16 ACC) captured its third-straight ACC series opener with an 18-1 victory over No. 22 Virginia Tech (22-16, 15-13 ACC) at English Field on Friday. The 17-run margin of victory over the Hokies was the largest of the 122-year history of the series.

Virginia rattled off 18 unanswered runs after Virginia Tech took an initial 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the fourth. The lead was erased almost immediately by a solo home run by the leadoff hitter, Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.), top of the fifth.

Kent was one of nine Cavaliers to record a hit in the contest. The junior finished 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBI. It was the third time this season he has driven in four or more runs. Freshman Kyle Teel (Mahwah, N.J.) also drove in a quartet of runners and scored a season-high three times. The first year hit an opposite field three-run homer in the fifth that capped a seven-run fifth inning rally, the largest single-inning output of the season.

The Cavalier offense posted a season-highs in runs (18), hits (17), RBI (17) and total bases (27) in the contest. The 18 runs in ACC play were the most since Virginia compiled 18 against Duke on March 17, 2011. It marks the third time since Virginia Tech joined the ACC that Virginia has scored 15 or more runs against its Commonwealth foe.

Not to be overshadowed by the offensive juggernaut was the second-straight quality start by Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) on the mound. The lefthander earned his fifth win of the year after seven innings of four-hit baseball. He allowed an unearned run and did not walk a batter for the second straight outing. Abbott fanned eight batters bringing his season total up to 99 and moved into sole possession of fifth place on UVA’s career strikeout list with 264.

Sophomore Max Cotier (New Milford, Conn.) and Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.) each had a game-high three hits. From the two-hole in the lineup, Cotier went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and collected a pair of RBI. He broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth with a two-RBI single through the right side. Ortiz went 3-for-4, scored three times and drove in two runs.

True freshman Jake Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) made the most of his first career start at first base and only his sixth time all season on the lineup card. Batting eighth, he went 3-for-6 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI, all season-highs.

The two teams will return to action on Saturday night (May 1) with Virginia’s Mike Vasil (6-3) on the hill. He will be opposed by righthander Anthony Simonelli (4-1). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ACC Network.

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