College baseball: Virginia rally gives coach Brian O'Connor 600th career victory
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The No. 14 Virginia baseball team rallied from a 6-2 deficit in the seventh inning to post a 9-7 victory over VMI on Tuesday afternoon in the 2017 home opener at Davenport Field. With the win, Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor recorded his 600th career coaching win, becoming the second fastest in ACC history to reach the 600-win plateau (825 games, second only to Florida State's Mike Martin, 802 games). O'Connor currently is the winningest coach in program history and 10th in career wins in ACC history.
"I was extremely proud of our guys," Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor said. "VMI played really tough and in a lot of ways deserved to win. They were in control of the game there until late. I was proud of our guys' resiliency in the ballgame. It's a great quality that you have to have. Certainly, the last two games, falling behind going into the late innings by four or six runs is not what you want to get used to, but it happens and our guys showed a lot of character."
For the second straight game, UVA (4-0) came back from a deficit of four or more runs in the last three innings. The Cavaliers trailed 6-0 in the seventh inning on Sunday against Kansas before coming back for a 9-6 win in UVA's largest comeback win in 11 seasons.
Virginia totaled 11 hits, with eight coming during its final two innings at the plate as UVA scored three in the seventh and four in the eighth. Seven Cavaliers recorded hits, while the two that did not, Charlie Cody and Andy Weber, each played key roles. Weber had three RBI off a pair of sacrifice flies as well as the game-tying, bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning. Cody scored twice and had a key at-bat in the game, coming back from an 0-2 hole to coax a nine-pitch, bases-loaded walk and force in the first run in the eighth.
Freshman Noah Murdock earned his first college win after working the eighth inning out of the bullpen. Tommy Doyle pitched the ninth for his first save. The sixth of seven VMI pitchers, Jack Gomersall (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs in the eighth inning.
In his first start since the 2015 season, UVA starter Derek Casey worked five strong innings, allowing two earned runs and four hits while striking out four. VMI starter Zak Kent pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up an earned run, one hit and two walks while striking out three.