CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- No. 1 Virginia scored twice in the seventh inning Friday to edge Virginia Tech 2-1 in the opener of a three-game ACC series at Davenport Field. Nate Irving hit the tie-breaking single to lift the Cavaliers (21-4, 8-2 ACC) .
UVa’s bullpen worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings in support of starter Nathan Kirby. Whit Mayberry tossed 1 2/3 innings to earn the win and improve to 2-1, while Nick Howard pitched the ninth inning to claim his seventh save in as many opportunities. Kirby recorded his seventh straight quality start, pitching 6 1/3 innings and allowing a run, four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Virginia Tech starting pitcher Brad Markey (2-4) tossed seven strong innings, giving up two earned runs, six hits and no walks while striking out four in taking the loss.
Mike Papi went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, recording half of the Cavaliers’ hits on the evening.
Virginia Tech (12-10-1, 5-5) scored its lone run in the third inning when Ricky Surum singled home Tom Stoffel, who singled to lead off the inning, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Irving.
The Hokies threatened to extend their lead in the sixth inning, loading the bases with one out. Sean Keselica hit a slow grounder to second, but Branden Cogswell and shortstop Daniel Pinero turned a slick double play to end the inning.
After Markey shut the Cavaliers out on just three hits over six innings, Virginia broke through with a pair of runs in the seventh inning. Papi cranked the first pitch to right-center for a double. He moved to third on a Howard sacrifice and scored when Joe McCarthy singled to right. With two outs McCarthy stole second base and he came home on a single to left by Irving.
Surum tripled off the wall in left-center field with two outs in the ninth, but Howard bounced back from a 2-0 count to strike out pinch hitter Andrew Mogg to end the game.