With the way the Virginia bats have been this season, it was only a matter of time.
After managing just four hits in their series-opening loss to the Cardinals, the Cavaliers opened the flood gates for 17 hits and four home runs, breaking the UVA program record for single-season home runs, as No. 12 Virginia (38-14, 17-12 ACC) evened the series with a 16-7 victory over No. 10 Louisville (37-17-1, 17-11-1 ACC) on Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
UVA led wire-to-wire and the offensive onslaught started in the top of the first inning. The Cavaliers drew back-to-back walks to start the game and then Alex Tappen singled to score Griff O'Ferrall. Casey Saucke delivered a two-out single to score Justin Rubin, but Tappen was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
In the top of the third, UVA put two runners on base with walks again and then Devin Ortiz hammered a ball 456 feet to left field for a three-run bomb, giving Virginia 68 home runs for the season, a new program record.
Later in the inning, Chris Newell and Griff O'Ferrall hit back-to-back RBI singles to stretch the Virginia lead to 7-0. Nate Savino dealt three scoreless innings to start the game before giving up three runs in the bottom of the fourth, but only one of the runs was earned. Savino ended up going five innings, striking out three batters and earning his fifth win of the season.
UVA responded to Louisville's three-run inning with a six-run outpouring in the top of the fifth. Casey Saucke and Ethan Anderson hit back-to-back solo shots to left center to start the inning.
Griff O'Ferrall reached base on a fielder's choice, stole second, and came around to score on a single by Alex Tappen. Then, UVA's home run king Jake Gelof joined the party as he came up to bat with runners on the corners and drove a three-run home run over the wall in center field for his 19th homer of the season.
Gelof now has 74 RBI for the season, second-most in UVA history behind Pavin Smith, who had 77 RBI in 2017.
Louisville put up two runs in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back solo homers off of Paul Kosanovich. Virginia answered with a run in the eighth as Kyle Teel doubled and came around to score on a double by Ethan Anderson.
UVA added two more runs in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Teel and an RBI double from Casey Saucke. The Cardinals scored two in the bottom of the ninth, but Dylan Bowers finished them off to close out the 16-7 victory.
Virginia and Louisville will meet in the rubber match of the series to conclude the regular season on Saturday at noon.
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