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June 5, 2004

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Top-seeded Virginia remained alive in the 2004 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship and recorded a 7-2 victory over the #3 seeded George Mason Patriots in Game 3 of the Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. The Cavaliers’ Joe Koshansky, a Fairfax, Va. native which is where George Mason University is located, provided Virginia with a one-two punch on the mound and at the plate to lift UVa past GMU in the first elimination contest of the Regional. Koshansky pitched a complete game and allowed just two runs on the mound. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in a pair of runs and scored another pair of runs in the contest.

“I think the story of the game is Joe Koshansky,” said UVa head coach Brian O’Connor. “There is an example of a veteran leader, a captain, an All-American who has the opportunity to pitch his team to victory in a tough situation.”

After two scoreless innings of baseball, Virginia took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning when UVa’s Koshansky belted a two-run home run to right-center field. The home run was his team-leading 16th of the season.

“When you play baseball, you live for these situations,” said Koshansky. “When you’re in the big game, you’ve got to try and carry your team. I looked at it not as a challenge but something I could take pride in doing to pick our team up and get us to tomorrow.”

The Cavaliers stretched their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Kyle Werman singled and scored a run two batters later after Mark Reynolds connected on a RBI-single to right field on an executed hit-and-run.

George Mason scored its first run of the contest and cut Virginia’s lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. GMU’s Chris Looze and Nick Shimer hit back-to-back doubles to lead-off the side to get things going for the Patriots. Shimer drove in Looze from second base when he tucked an RBI-double down the left field line to cut UVa’s lead to two runs.

UVa extended its lead to 4-1 in the top of the seventh inning when Koshansky drew a lead-off walk before he came around to score a run three batters later when Matt Street connected on an RBI, bunt-single down the third base line.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Cavaliers tacked on three more insurance runs with one swing of the bat and made it a 7-1 ballgame when UVa’s Reynolds sent a three-run home run over the left-center field wall. Reynolds’ home run, his 11th of the season, also scored Street (walk) and Kyle Werman (hit by pitch) to give Virginia a six-run advantage.

George Mason tried to mount a late ninth inning charge in the bottom half of the inning and did cut into UVa’s lead when Robby Jacobsen crushed a solo home run (his 12th of the season) over the scoreboard in left field to make the score 7-2. But that would be as close as the Patriots would get as the Cavaliers secured the five-run victory.

UVa’s Koshansky (8-3) picked up the win and allowed just two runs on seven hits to go along with four strikeouts. GMU starting pitcher Stacen Gant (10-1) went 7.2 innings and suffered his first loss of the season after allowing four runs on 11 hits despite striking out a game-high seven batters.

With the victory, Virginia’s record improves to 43-14 overall. The loss drops George Mason’s record to 39-18 on the season. UVa is now 1-1 in the Charlottesville Regional. GMU turned in a record of 0-2 in the event.

“When you host an NCAA Regional, you want to do the best you can to represent your University and play well to have a chance to play the next day,” said O’Connor. “This was a big win for our ballclub.”

The Cavaliers will return to action on Sunday, June 6th at 1:00 PM in Game 5 when Virginia faces #4 seed Princeton.

— NCAA —

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