#10 Virginia Keeps Rallying Again & Again, This Time With Ninth Inning Comeback To Post 3-2 Victory Over Radford
April 27, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The #10 ranked University of Virginia baseball team has posted numerous come-from-behind wins late in a game this season, and tonight was no exception as the Cavaliers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 3-2 victory over the visiting Radford Highlanders in a non-conference game at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. With UVa trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning and the seven, eight and nine spot hitters scheduled to come to the plate, the Cavaliers received RBI at-bats from Tim Henry and Matt Street, with the later on a RBI-single to right field to plate the game-winning run from second base.
Radford scored the first two runs of the game when the Highlanders broke a 0-0 tie in the top of the second inning when Dean Altavilla connected on a two-run, RBI-double to left field to drive in teammates Matt Mantione and Ryan Ives. UVa chipped Radford’s lead in half at 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning when Matt Dunn singled to center field, stole second base and then advanced to third on a Highlander error, then scored a run in the Cavaliers’ next at-bat on a RBI-single to center field by Scott Headd.
Radford would hold its 2-1 lead all the way until the bottom of the ninth inning. That’s when UVa worked its magic to pull out yet another comeback victory. Headd singled up the middle to get things started for the Cavaliers before he was replaced by pinch runner Mike Mitchell. After Mitchell stole second base, Kyle Werman moved him to third on a bunt single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Henry tied the game at 2-2 in Virginia’s next at-bat on a RBI-groundout to plate Mitchell to set-up Matt Street’s at-bat. With Werman on second base and one out, Street blooped a RBI-single into right field that scored Werman from second base for the game-winning score, giving UVa a 3-2 victory.
Virginia’s starting pitcher Casey Lambert made his first collegiate start and nearly pitched a complete game. The LHP tossed 8.2 innings and allowed just two runs on nine hits and struck out five batters. He fell one out short of notching the complete game. UVa’s Canon Hickman (6-2) only pitched 0.1 of an inning, but it was enough to post his sixth win of the season. Radford’s closer Bret Lieberman (2-2) tried to close out the game for the win, but blew a save opportunity by allowing two runs on three hits to take the loss. The Highlanders’ starting pitcher Mark Fleisher had a solid outing after going 6.1 innings and allowed just one unearned run on eight hits to go along with a game-high six strikeouts in a no-decision.
With the victory, Virginia’s record improves to 36-9 overall. The loss drops Radford’s record to 19-19 on the season.
Virginia will return to home action on Friday, May 7th when the Cavaliers host the Florida State Seminoles in the first contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series. UVa and FSU are scheduled to meet on Friday, May 7th at 7:00 PM, Saturday, May 8th at 7:00 PM and Sunday, May 9th at 1:00 PM. All three games will be played at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium.
Radford will return to action on April 30th – May 2nd when the Highlanders travel to Birmingham, Alabama to play Birmingham-Southern in a three-game Big South series.
— UVa —