PITTSBURGH — Lined up to the right side of the rubber, Nathan Kirby, left sleeve rolled up underneath his orange jersey, looked as if he was about to take on the Pittsburgh lineup for the first time Friday evening.
But the bottom of the eighth inning was just a pitch away from beginning. The time was past 10:30 p.m.
Huddled around first base, Virginia’s defense quietly shared some words before breaking for their positions.
No Cavalier stopped by the mound for a chat. When history’s unfolding, you don’t dare mess with it. An inning later, the moment arrived.
Shortstop Daniel Pinero lunged to his left, gobbled up Dylan Wolsonovich’s outfield-seeking poke and made an accurate toss to Kenny Towns at first base.
Cue the dugout flood.
Kirby threw UVa’s first no-hitter since 2011 as the No. 1 Wahoos blanked the Panthers, 4-0, before 402 spectators at Charles L. Cost Field.
“It’s kind of cliche,” Kirby said, “but it’s kind of a blur.”
Kirby struck out 18 batters, finishing just one shy of an ACC and program record. The sophomore left-hander issued just a single walk.
He struck out a ridiculous 10 consecutive batters from the second inning to the beginning of the fifth.
Combining his signature 92-95 mph fastball with a filthy slider and change-up, Kirby gave the Panthers (15-14, 7-6 ACC) a proper introduction to the best the ACC has to offer on the mound.
The Panthers, longtime members of the Big East, looked foolish against UVa’s lean 6-foot-2, 185-pounder.
“The poise that he showed tonight, the calmness and the presence that he showed was truly impressive.” UVa coach Brian O’Connor said. “I’m just really proud of him. It’s a great accomplishment for him and and our team.”
Kirby received support from runs spread out across three innings by UVa (26-4, 11-2). Branden Cogswell perfectly executed a drag bunt to score Irving in the second inning. Brandon Downes doubled in Joe McCarthy in the third. Mike Papi’s misplayed bloop to right led to two runs in the sixth.
— Andrew Ramspacher
The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress
Miami 8, Virginia Tech 7
BLACKSBURG — The Hokies surrendered six runs on six hits and three errors in the final two innings as they gave up all of a five-run lead against the No.24 Hurricanes.
Miguel Ceballos knocked in two runs and scored another run on two hits for Virginia Tech (14-13-1, 5-8 ACC). Brendon Hayden and Sean Keselica each scored two runs on two hits.
Brad Markey got the start for Tech and gave up two runs on five hits with three strikeouts over seven innings.
Zack Collins scored two runs and knocked two more in on three hits to lead Miami (19-12, 9-4 ACC).
Liberty 5, VMI 0
LYNCHBURG — Trey Lambert pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing six hits as the Flames (23-8) defeated the Keydets.
VMI (16-11) was led by Cameron Walker with two hits.
Winthrop 6, Radford 0
ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Highlanders (15-13, 6-4 Big South) were victimes of a four-hit shut out by Sam Kmiec in losing to the Eagles.
Zach Woolcock had two hits for Radford. David Nelson suffered the loss throwing 3 2⁄3 innings giving up four runs on nine hits.
Mary Washington sweeps SVU
FREDERICKSBURG — Makenzie Cox recorded both of Southern Virginia’s hits in an 8-0 loss at the hands of Mary Washington after losing 6-0 to the Eagles in the opener.
Cheyenne Hegsted, McKenzie Packard and Jamie Pinkston each recorded hits for the Knights (3-14) in the first game.
The Southern Virginia offense continued to sputter in the second game, striking out eight times while recording only two hits
TRACK AND FIELD
Highlanders’ Farnan wins
5,000 at VertKlasse
HIGH POINT, N.C. — Radford’s Ryan Farnan crossed the finish line first in the men’s 5,000 meters Friday afternoon at the VertKlasse Meeting hosted by High Point University. The junior completed the distance in 15 minutes, 3.45 seconds.
Kelley gets a third at Liberty Collegiate
LYNCHBURG — Mary Kelly of Roanoke College finished third in the Javelin throw on Day 1 of the Liberty Collegiate Invitationals.
— The Roanoke Times