SALEM, Va. – The #6 seeded University of Virginia baseball team pulled out a dramatic 12-11 victory over the #7 seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the second round of the 2003 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament. With the scored tied at 11-11 in the bottom of the 10th inning, UVa’s Joe Koshansky connected on a solo home run to right field to lift UVa to a one-run victory. The Cavaliers were able to overcome six errors and a grand slam by WFU to put UVa down two runs in the top of the ninth inning to record the victory.
Wake Forest wasted no time putting runs on the scoreboard and jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning following a two-run RBI double by Jamie D’Antona before Steve LeFaivre crushed a three-run home run over the scoreboard in right-center field two batters later. D’Antona’s double drove in Adam Bourassa (single) and Ryan Johnson (walk) before D’Antona and Jeff Ruziecki (walk) each scored a run on LeFaivre’s home run.
But Virginia answered right back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first inning to make it a 5-3 contest. UVa’s Koshansky drove in Matt Street (walk) with a RBI-double down the left field line before Matt Dunn (hit by a pitch) scored a run from third base on a passed ball to cut the lead to 5-2. Koshansky eventually scored a run himself when Mark Reynolds hit a RBI sacrifice fly to center field to pull the Cavaliers within two runs.
The Demon Deacons tacked on another run in the top of the second inning and stretched their lead to 6-3 when Johnson walked to reach base and scored a run two batters later when Ruziecki hit into a play that resulted in three consecutive UVa errors to allow Johnson to score a run. WFU posted another run in the top of the third inning to increase its lead to 7-3 when Ben Ingold walked before he scored a run on another Virginia error.
The Cavaliers scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning to pull within two of the Demon Deacons at 7-5. UVa scored its first run of the inning to make it a 7-4 contest when Dunn singled before he came around to score a run himself three batters later on a RBI-single by Reynolds through the left side. In Virginia’s next at-bat, Chris Sweet connected on a RBI infield single to shortstop to drive in Koshansky (walk) from third base to make it a 7-5 ballgame.
Virginia plated two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 7-7 when Ryan Zimmerman and Koshansky hit back-to-back singles to reach base before both baserunners scored a run on a RBI-single through the right side by Paul Gillispie.
UVa took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and claimed a 9-7 lead when Koshansky walked and scored a run on a RBI sacrifice fly to center field by Scott Headd before Kyle Werman drove in Sweet to score another run with a RBI-single up the middle.
Just when it appeared Virginia was going to close out the game on Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons’ Ryan Hubbard hit a bases loaded grand slam with two outs over the right field wall to give WFU a 11-9 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. And just when it appeared Wake Forest was going to close out the contest on Virginia, the Cavaliers came through in the clutch when Dunn hit a two-run single up the middle with two outs and an 0-2 count to drive in Gillispie (double to reach base) from third and Miguel Luina (pinch running) from second to tie the game at 11-11, sending the game into extra innings.
With the game hanging in the balance, tied at 11-11 in the bottom of the 10th inning, UVa’s Koshansky hit a walk-off home run to right field to lift the Cavaliers to a 12-11 victory. Koshansky’s home was was his ninth of the season and was marked the fifth run he scored in the game. The home run was his first ever walk-off home run.
Virginia’s Adam Laird (1-1) picked up his first collegiate victory after going 1.0 scoreless inning with one strikeout in relief action. UVa starting pitcher Chris Gale lasted just 0.2 innings and surrendered five runs on four hits and struck out one batter in a no-decision.
Wake Forest’s Kirby Wedekind (1-2) took the loss after giving up the walk-off home run to Koshansky, the only batter he faced. WFU starting pitcher Tim Morley went 4.0 innings and allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and struck out two batters.
With victory, Virginia’s record improves to 29-24 overall, 1-1 in the ACC Tournament. The loss drops Wake Forest’s record to 29-24 overall, 0-2 in the ACC Tournament. WFU’s loss eliminates the Demon Deacons from the tournament.
The Cavaliers now advance to the third round of the tournament to face the loser of the #5 North Carolina vs. #1 Florida State contest at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 24th.