DURHAM, N.C. — Virginia’s path to the ACC Tournament semifinal was blocked Wednesday night.
Right-hander Devin Ortiz hit North Carolina pinch-hitter Caleb Roberts on an 0-1 pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, pushing home the go-ahead run for North Carolina’s 3-2 victory.
The contest kicked off play for Pool D, which also includes No. 3-seed Miami in addition to the No. 5-seed Tar Heels and No. 9-seed Cavaliers. If all three teams go 1-1 in pool play, Miami advances by virtue of being the highest seed in the group. Virginia, the lowest seed, cannot advance after losing its first game.
Right-hander Chesdin Harrington, who slid into the Cavaliers’ weekend rotation late in the regular season, got the nod Wednesday. Harrington’s rise has coincided with the absence of right-hander Griff McGarry, who hasn’t pitched since a two-inning start April 27 in a loss at North Carolina. O’Connor on May 11 said McGarry was dealing with a “minor setback,” but he has yet to return to the mound.
Harrington, a senior, was dominant over the first three innings Wednesday before surrendering a double to North Carolina designated hitter Aaron Sabato in the fourth. Sabato scored when a single off the bat of Tar Heels third baseman Ike Freeman bounced past Cayman Richardson in right field.
Harrington was pulled with one out in the fifth, having allowed another run. Left-hander Andrew Abbott relieved Harrington and stranded runners on first and second, and left in the 10th having pitched four scoreless innings. The winning run was charged to Abbott.
As Abbott kept the Tar Heels’ bats in check, Virginia put some offense together. First baseman Nate Eikhoff hit a solo homer in the seventh, then left fielder Brendan Rivoli knotted the game at 2 with a single in the eighth.
Virginia had the bases loaded in the ninth but could not push the final run home, setting up North Carolina’s game-winner in the 10th.