Didawick Walks Off Hokies in 13th, Virginia Baseball Sweeps Virginia Tech

Harrison Didawick rounds the bases after hitting a walk-off home run to end the Virginia baseball game against Virginia Tech.
Harrison Didawick rounds the bases after hitting a walk-off home run to end the Virginia baseball game against Virginia Tech. / Virginia Athletics

In a season filled with a countless number of comebacks, it was only fitting that the Cavaliers erased yet another large deficit to win their regular season finale and complete the series sweep over their in-state rivals in a marathon thriller.

Despite trailing by as many as seven runs and falling behind on the scoreboard on three separate occasions, UVA managed to tie things up and send the game into extra innings, where Harrison Didawick eventually played the hero with a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to give No. 18 Virginia (40-14, 18-12 ACC) a 10-9 victory over Virginia Tech (32-20, 14-16 ACC) on Saturday night at Disharoon Park.

The series win was already secured with UVA's 13-3 run-rule win over Virginia Tech on Friday, but as the Cavaliers looked to complete the sweep on Saturday night, pretty much everything went wrong in the first two innings. Virginia Tech hit three-consecutive singles off of Owen Coady in the top of the first and then a wild pitch, a single, and a sacrifice bunt scored three runs. In the top of the second, Coady gave up back-to-back doubles to allow another run to score before getting pulled in favor of Jay Woolfolk, who surrendered a walk, a single, and a double as the Hokies jumped out to a 7-0 lead after just two innings.

Virginia put a dent in that deficit in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run from Casey Saucke, the 10th homer of the series for the Cavaliers.

After struggling in the second, Jay Woolfolk settled in nicely, retiring seven of the next eight batters he faced and posting zeroes on the board in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. Angelo Tonas kept the Hokies at seven with scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh and then the Cavaliers closed the remainder of the gap with a five-run bottom of the seventh. Saucke hit an RBI single to score Griff O'Ferrall and then Henry Ford improved his UVA freshman home run record with a three-run blast to left field.

Jacob Ference came up to the plate next and delivered a solo home run to square the game at 7-7.

Virginia Tech temporarily regained the lead on a Clay Grady RBI single in the top of the eighth, but the Cavaliers matched in the bottom half of the inning, as Eric Becker was hit by a pitch and eventually came around to score on a Saucke sacrifice fly.

Both teams had multiple chances to break the 8-8 tie, but that score remained unchanged through the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th innings. Finally in the top of the 13th, the Hokies seemed to have put themselves in position to avoid the sweep as a sacrifice fly from Eddie Micheletti gave Virginia Tech a 9-8 lead.

If Virginia was just waiting for Virginia Tech to take the lead so as to make the ending as painful as possible, it would have looked something like this. Ethan Anderson drew a leadoff walk and then Harrison Didawick crushed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right-center field for a walk-off two-run home run.

The game-winning long ball from Didawick was the 22nd homer of the season for the sophomore, just one shy of Jake Gelof's single-season UVA record set last season.

UVA used six pitchers in the 13-inning game, the last of whom was Chase Hungate, who was credited with his seventh win of the season. A nod should also be given to Jay Woolfolk, who pitched three scoreless frames and recorded five strikeouts after a rough start to his outing in the second inning.

Virginia concludes the regular season with a 40-14 overall record and an 18-12 mark in ACC play. The Cavaliers have earned the No. 4 overall seed in the ACC Tournament and are the top seed in Pool D along with No. 5 seed Florida State and No. 9 seed Georgia Tech.

The 2024 ACC Baseball Championship begins Tuesday, May 21 and runs through Sunday, May 26 at Truist Field in Charlotte, North Carolina. Virginia will face Georgia Tech on Wednesday at 11am and Florida State on Friday at 11am.

Published |Modified
Matt Newton


Managing Editor and Publisher, CavaliersNow Email: mattnewton@virginia.eduTwitter: @mattynewtssWebsite | LinkedInย | Instagram Matt Newton is the managing editor and publisher at CavaliersNow. He has been covering UVA athletics since 2019 andย has been the managing editor at CavaliersNow since launching the site in August 2021. Matt covers all things UVA sports, including Virginia basketball and football news and recruiting, former Wahoos in the pros, and coverage of all 23 of the NCAA Division I sports teams at the University of Virginia. A native of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Matt grew up a huge Philadelphia sports fan, but has also been a UVA sports fanatic his entire life thanks to his parents, who are alums of the University of Virginia. Matt followed in his parents' footsteps and attended UVA from 2017-2021, graduating with a degree in Media Studies and a minor in Economics in May of 2021.ย