Baseball

Notre Dame beats Virginia, stays alive in ACC tournament

Sophomore right-hander Ryan Smoyer, a third-team All-ACC selection, won his ninth decision without a loss this season as third-seeded Notre Dame (35-20) stayed in championship contention in the ACC baseball tournament with an 8-2 victory Friday over seventh-seeded Virginia (35-21).

Cavan Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, and Kyle Fiala each had two hits and two RBIs for the Fighting Irish. Biggio had a two-run triple in the sixth that made the score 6-2, and Fiala drove in a run with a double in the fourth and a groundout in the eighth.

Freshman right-hander Brandon Bielak picked up his first save with three innings of two-hit relief.

In their final pool games, Notre Dame will play second-seeded Miami at 3 p.m. Saturday, and Virginia will play sixth-seeded N.C. State at 7 p.m. Saturday. Virginia is eliminated from championship contention with its second loss in pool play, but Notre Dame (1-1 in pool play) still has a chance to advance. The Irish need for N.C. State to lose to Miami on Friday night and to Virginia on Saturday, and must beat Miami.

Star of the game

Smoyer (9-0) scattered four hits over six innings, while striking out two and walking four. Two of his walks came in the third, before Matt Thaiss delivered a two-out, two-run double.

Observations

▪  Notre Dame jumped to a 3-0 lead after three innings despite hitting only one ball out of the infield, a leadoff single in the third by Fiala. The Irish capitalized on three walks, two infield hits and a two-out, two-run throwing error by UVa catcher Robbie Coman after a dropped third strike.

▪  A season-long problem hurt the Cavaliers again Friday, as three pitchers combined to surrender eight walks. Lefty starter Brandon Waddell (3-5) walked five in five innings, including three in the first when he walked in a run with the bases loaded. He struck out nine and allowed six runs, four earned.

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