Baseball catches big win over ACC opponent

Alex Bolinger, Contributing Writer

This past weekend proved to be historic for the Bison men’s baseball team, who beat the University of Virginia (UVA) for the first time since 1925. The team split two games against the Cavaliers on Feb. 22, winning the second game of the doubleheader.

The Orange and Blue used a huge offensive outburst against the Cavaliers to take the win in the second game of the series. Marked by two separate three-run home runs by Chris Cannizzaro ’22 and Jake Wortman ’23, the Bison came out swinging in this contest.

The beginning of the game seemed to be in UVA’s control as they scored first in the bottom of the first inning and limited the Bison to only one hit through the first two innings. However, things turned quickly in the third inning after a three-run Cannizzaro homerun brought in Kyle Lyons ’23 and Tyler Wincig ’20.

The third-inning attack would prove only to be the beginning for the Bison, as they combined for 10 runs in the sixth and seventh innings. During the top of the sixth inning, Wortman  belted his first career home run, which brought in three runs, and the Bison took a 9-2 lead. The seventh inning also proved productive as the bases were loaded and the Bison were able to put five runs on the board before the inning came to a close.

Matt Otsen ’21 came to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and was able to hold back the Cavaliers’ offensive attack. After both teams’ explosive offensive performances in the sixth and seventh inning, neither was able to score in the eighth. In the end, the Bison were able to come out on top with an offensive performance that they are hoping to replicate in games to come.

“It was an unbelievable opportunity to be able to go and compete against an ACC opponent, who has been a national powerhouse over the past decade. To be able to come away with our first win against UVA since 1925 is a great building block for our team leading into Patriot League play,” Peter Marren ’21 said.

Unfortunately, the weekend also contained three more contests against the Cavaliers, which the Bison were unable to win. The team traveled to Charlottesville, Va. on Feb. 21, and, despite a late surge, was not able to complete the full comeback in their first game against UVA.

The Bison also fell in the second game against the Cavaliers, 14-3, on Feb. 22. This game was highlighted by the first career appearance of Renn Lints ’22, who also plays wide receiver for the Bison football team. Also during this game, Cannizzaro was able to launch his first career home run in the top of the eighth inning, a solo shot.

Finishing up their series on Sunday, the Bison dropped the finale 12-3. The Bison only managed five hits on the day, only 24 hours after their offensive explosion on Saturday. Virginia pulled away in the bottom of the sixth inning with a six-run outburst.

The Bison will next face NJIT Friday, Feb. 28. This will start a four-game series against the Highlanders after the Bison’s one-game series loss to them earlier this season.

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