No. 2 Cavaliers Survive East Carolina Rally, Win 14-11
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The No. 2 Virginia baseball team held off a late East Carolina rally in posting a 14-11 victory over the No. 11 Pirates Sunday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C. UVa picked up a 2-1 series win.
The wild contest featured 30 hits and 37 players, including 13 pitchers, while lasting four hours and 11 minutes. Every Virginia starter recorded at least one hit, with seven posting at least two. Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) and Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) each had three hits for the Cavaliers, who finished with 19 hits. Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) homered and scored three times for the Cavaliers. UVa had plenty of opportunities to tack on more runs, but left 17 runners on base.
Virginia (2-1) had a nine-run lead, 13-4, after a four-run sixth inning, but the Pirates roared back with seven runs in the eighth inning to make things very interesting and bring what was left of the crowd of 4,774 to its feet. The Pirates (1-2) brought the potential tying run to the plate in the eighth, but Kevin Arico (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) came on to retire Devin Harris and went 1.1 innings to notch his first save of 2010.
Neal Davis (Sr., Baltimore, Md.) earned the win for Virginia with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. UVa starting pitcher Cody Winiarski (Jr., Franksville, Wis.) worked 3.2 innings in his Cavalier debut, allowing four earned runs, three hits and four walks while striking out two.
ECU starter Brad Mincey (0-1) took the loss and failed to get out of the second inning, going 1.2 innings and allowing six earned runs, seven hits and a walk while striking out one.
After falling behind early in the first two games, Virginia jumped out first Sunday. Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) singled on the game’s first pitch, then moved up on a Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) groundout. Grovatt followed with a single up the middle to score Gosselin and give UVa the 1-0 edge.
East Carolina came right back in its half of the first when Dustin Harrington ripped a one-out solo home run into the ‘Jungle’ beyond the left-center field wall.
The Cavaliers knocked Mincey from the game while sending 10 batters to the plate in a six-run second inning. John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) doubled to lead off the inning and scored one out later on a single to left by Werman. Gosselin then cranked a two-run home run to left-center to give UVa a 4-1 lead. With two out, Grovatt ripped a single to right and he scored when Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) doubled into the left-field corner. Mincey was yanked in favor of Tyler Joyner, who then walked Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.). Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) capped the scoring with a two-run double as UVa took a 7-1 lead.
ECU shaved a run off the lead in the second inning on a Corey Thompson sacrifice fly, but UVa countered with a pair of scores in the fourth inning to push the lead to seven, 9-2. Parker doubled to right-center to lead off and moved to third on a single to right by Cannon. Sthil Sowers then came on in relief for ECU and surrendered back-to-back RBI singles by Hicks and Franco Valdes (Sr., Miami, Fla.).
East Carolina scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of Winiarski’s control problems with two out. After Winiarski walked the bases loaded, Trent Whitehead singled up the middle on an 0-2 pitch against reliever Davis to score a pair of runs and bring ECU to within 9-4.
Virginia added on in the sixth inning, scoring four times against Jake Harris. With one out Werman singled up the middle. Gosselin then walked and the two combined for a double steal. Hultzen walked to load the bases and Grovatt was then hit by a pitch to force in a run. Shawn Armstrong came on to pitch and got Proscia to fly deep to center for a sacrifice fly, but Parker lined a triple into the right-field corner to score Hultzen and Grovatt and increase the lead to 13-4.
The Pirates stormed back in the eighth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate while scoring seven runs. Kyle Roller led off with a double off Grovatt, who was making his first college pitching appearance. Corey Hunt (R-Jr., Charlottesville, Va.), also in his first pitching outing, came on and gave up a run-scoring single to Devin Harris and a single to Austin Homan before getting Zach Wright to ground out and Chris Gosik to hit a sacrifice fly. John Wooten followed with a two-run home run to right to bring ECU within five, 13-8.
Philip Clark then drew a walk, and Whitehead followed with a walk against UVa’s new pitcher, Tyler Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.). Harrington followed with a two-run double and Roller added a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 13-11. Arico then came on and got Harris to ground out to Werman at second for the final out.
The Cavaliers added an insurance run in the ninth on a triple by Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.), scoring Hicks, who walked to lead off the inning. The hit was the first of Taylor’s career.
Homan led off the ninth with a single, but Arico rebounded to strike out Wright on a 3-2 pitch, strike out Bryan Bass looking and induce Wooten to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Virginia returns home this week, playing George Washington Wednesday before taking on Rhode Island in a three-game series Friday through Sunday.