No. 13 Cavaliers Clip Boston College, 8-3
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. The No. 13 Virginia baseball team opened its three-game series at Boston College Friday afternoon with an 8-3 win over the Eagles at Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at Commander Shea Field.
Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda, Md.), in addition to starting on the mound, hit his first career home run a three-run blast and scored three runs. Franco Valdes (Jr., Miami, Fla.) tied a career high with three hits and scored twice.
Hultzen went 4.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned), five hits and two walks. He struck out three. Tyler Wilson (So., Midlothian, Va.) pitched 4.2 strong innings out of the bullpen to improve to 6-2 this year. He gave up an earned run, three hits and two walks while striking out three.
Boston College starting pitcher JB MacDonald (4-4), a week after taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning at Wake Forest, took the loss and tossed six innings, giving up four earned runs, six hits and two walks while striking out six.
Virginia (29-7-1, 10-6-1 ACC) struck for the game’s first run with two outs in the second inning. After UVa’s first five batters were easily retired, Hultzen drew a walk from MacDonald and scored on the next play when Cannon doubled into the right-field corner.
Boston College (23-14, 9-8) tied the score in the third inning. Robbie Anston walked with one out and then scored with two outs when Tony Sanchez pulled a double down the left-field line.
The Cavaliers came right back with three runs in the fourth inning. With one out, Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) walked and he advanced to second on a Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) single to right field. Hultzen then helped his own cause by swatting a three-run home run to right-center field to give UVa a 4-1 lead. The home run was the first of Hultzen’s college career.
BC came back with an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth. Barry Butera walked with one out and advanced when Hultzen’s pickoff throw to first was botched by John Hicks (Fr., Stafford, Va.). Garret Smith then blooped a single to right-center which caromed off the glove of outstretched second baseman Phil Gosselin (West Chester, Pa.). The Eagles got the run as Harry Darling struck out looking when Smith attempted to steal second, he induced a rundown and Butera came home and scored prior to the tag at second.
The Eagles had a golden opportunity to further cut into the lead in the fifth inning, putting runners on second and third with one out and knocking Hultzen from the game. Wilson came on to strike out Sanchez looking on three pitches and then get Mickey Wiswall to ground out to third to end the threat.
UVa tacked on a run in the seventh inning. The Cavaliers got a leadoff single from Valdes and two outs later, Hicks reached base on a wild pitch as he struck out. Gosselin then walked and Grovatt, after reaching a 3-2 count, laid off a nasty breaking ball to walk and force in Valdes with the Wahoos’ fifth run.
A key turning point came in the bottom of the seventh. The Eagles put runners on first and second with one out, with Sanchez on deck, but Wilson forced John Spatola to hit into a 3-6-3 double play to end the threat and keep Sanchez from stepping up as the potential tying or go-ahead run.
Virginia then doubled its lead with a three-run eighth inning. Hultzen and Cannon walked to start the inning and Valdes popped a bunt over pitcher Kevin Moran’s head for a bunt single to load the bases and force Moran from the game. Nate Bayuk came on in relief and gave up a two-run double to right-center by pinch hitter Jared King (Fr., Radford, Va.). One out later, Hicks hit a sacrifice fly off Dave Laufer to push the lead to 8-2.
Mike Belfiore hit a solo home run to right-center his 10th this season to cut the UVa lead to 8-3 in the bottom of the eighth.
The teams will play game two of the series at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The start time has been moved up one hour from the original time because of the potential for rain.