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March 7, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Greg Withelder and Jon Metzger tossed the first University of Virginia shutout of the season here Sunday as the Cavaliers defeated the University of Rhode Island 7-0 to complete a three-game weekend sweep of the Rams. Virginia, winner of four straight, improves to 8-9 on the season, while URI falls to 1-4. Withelder, who had dropped three straight decisions since defeating then-No. 32 Oklahoma in his first outing of the season, pitched seven innings of two-hit, scoreless ball with one walk and a career-high 11 strike outs. Metzger finished the game with four strike outs in two innings amidst a walk and one hit.

Virginia jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning thanks to five hits and a URI error. Julian Gonzalez had the big hit in the inning, a three-run home run to left field. It was the first round-tripper of the season for the senior out fielder and gave the Cavaliers a home run in their fifth consecutive game.

Rhode Island pitcher Mark Martone settled down after that, allowing just an unearned run on three hits over the next six innings. UVa got that run in the bottom of the sixth when Luis Giraldo reached third on a dropped fly ball by Ram right fielder Justin Gwaltney. After Gonzalez walked to put runners on the corners with one out, Giraldo stole home on a double steal to make the score 7-0.

Withelder (2-3) picked up the win, while Martone was saddled with the loss. It was the first shutout for Virginia since a 14-0 blanking of Coppin State on March 14 of last season. Seven of the nine UVa starters got at least one hit with Tim LaVigne and Hunter Wyant each getting a couple. Giraldo and Mark Rueffert also had RBI to go along with Julian Gonzalez’ three. Virginia will take the midweek off and return to action Friday in its ACC opener at Florida State in Tallahassee. The three-game weekend series will begin with a single game Friday at 7 p.m. Single games will follow at 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.


URI (1-4)    000 000 000 - 0 3 2UVa (8-9)    600 001 00x - 7 9 1WP - Withelder (2-3). LP - Martone. Sv - None. Martone, Gaffney (8) and Byron;Withelder, Metzger (8) and Rueffert. T - 2:14. A - 151.
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