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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 1-ranked Virginia baseball team finished off a three-game series sweep of Rhode Island with an 8-5 victory Sunday at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers (6-1) scored five runs in the first inning and coasted to their fifth straight win.

Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI to lead the Cavaliers’ offense. He finished the week 9-for-17 with six RBI. Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) added a pair of hits as he went 6-for-7 in the series. John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) also had a three-run double to key the Cavaliers’ big first inning.

Cody Winiarski (Jr., Franksville, Va.) worked 5.0 innings in his first home start at Virginia. He allowed three earned runs, seven hits and one walk while striking out seven as he earned his first win as a Cavalier (1-0). Kevin Arico (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to notch his third save of the season. UVa’s pitchers fanned 13 Sunday and finished with 36 strikeouts in the series.

Rhode Island starter Dan Rossignol (0-1) worked 2.1 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned), five hits and four walks while fanning one in taking the loss. Oliver Palmer went 3-for-5 with two RBI as he fell a triple shy of the cycle for the Rams (0-6).

After going scoreless in the first inning of the first two games of the series, Virginia started fast with five runs in the opening inning Sunday. Gosselin led off with a single and then stole second. Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) singled to left to move Gosselin to third and Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) walked to load the bases. After Proscia scored Gosselin with a sacrifice fly and Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) struck out, Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) reached when shortstop Mike LeBel dropped his pop fly, which loaded the bases.

Hicks then ripped a double into the right-field corner to clear the bases and give the Cavaliers a 4-0 lead. Franco Valdes (Sr., Miami, Fla.) followed with a double just inside first base and down the right-field line to score Hicks with the fifth run of the inning.

In the third, UVa added a pair of runs on a two-run double from Gosselin, scoring Werman and Valdes. The Cavaliers also scored a run in the fifth. Pinch hitter Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) led off with a walk and moved to third one out later on a Werman double. Taylor scored on a Gosselin sacrifice fly to center field.

Rhode Island broke its scoring drought with three runs in the sixth inning. Rob DeVeney and Palmer hit back-to-back doubles to start the inning and tally the Rams’ first run. LeBel followed with a two-run blast into the left-field bleachers to cut the lead to 8-3. After Winiarski issued his first walk of the game, Whit Mayberry (Fr., Alexandria, Va.) came on in relief to retire the side in order.

In the eighth inning, Palmer hit the first pitch from Tyler Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) over the wall in left-center, cutting the UVa lead to 8-4. Two outs later, Tom Coulombe walked and scored from first on a Milan Adams single to left-center.

Virginia continues its nine-game homestand at 4 p.m. Tuesday when it plays host to James Madison.

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