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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Behind the arm and bat of Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.), the top-ranked Virginia baseball team blanked Rhode Island, 13-0, Friday afternoon at Davenport Field.

Hultzen (2-0) was dominating on the mound, allowing just two hits over seven innings. Of the 22 batters Hultzen faced, he struck out 12 and did not issue a walk. It marked his third career double-digit strikeout game, as he surrendered just two singles and only one left the infield. Hultzen and reliever Chad O’Connor (So., Chesapeake, Va.) combined to strike out 16 batters.

At the plate, Hultzen went 1-for-3 with a two-run double as part of Virginia’s 15-hit effort. Every Virginia starter had at least one hit, while eight of the nine scored at least one run. Franco Valdes (Sr., Miami, Fla.) went 2-for-4 with a three-run triple, while Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) was 2-for-3 with a solo home run and a pair of runs.

Tim Boyce (0-1) took the loss for Rhode Island (0-4). He started for the Rams and went five innings while allowing six earned runs, seven hits and two walks. He struck out six. Mike LeBel had two of the Rams’ five hits.

Virginia (4-1), after squandering a first-inning scoring opportunity, loaded the bases with none out in the second inning before Valdes smacked a Boyce offering off the wall in left-center. The ball rolled away from center fielder Kenny Burns, and Valdes legged out a triple while all three runs crossed the plate.

In the third, UVa tacked on a pair of runs. After Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) led off with a single, Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) tripled off the left-center field wall. Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) followed with a run-scoring single to give UVa a 5-0 lead.

Gosselin hit a solo homer over the left-field bleachers in the fourth – his second home run this season.

In the sixth, UVa scored four times. The Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out, and Hultzen stroked a two-run double to left-center, scoring Valdes and John Barr (Jr., Ivyland, Pa.). Grovatt then hit a sacrifice fly and Proscia singled home David Coleman (Jr., Richmond, Va.), who pinch-ran for Hultzen.

Virginia batted around and added a trio of runs in the eighth inning against reliever Sam Cooke. Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.), on his first college hit, brought home Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) with a single to left. After UVa loaded the bases, Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) was hit by a pitch to score Parker, and Barr grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring home Bruno and give the Cavaliers a 13-0 lead.

The teams will play game two of the series at 1 p.m. Saturday. Hot chocolate and coffee will be free to all fans for each game during the series.

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