No. 1 Cavaliers Use Big Innings to Rout Towson, 17-4
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The top-ranked Virginia baseball team parlayed a pair of huge innings into a 17-4 victory over Towson Wednesday in front of 2,042 fans at Davenport Field. Virginia racked up 16 hits, including seven of the extra-base variety, in the dominating victory.
Virginia’s Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBI, while Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) snapped out of a recent slump with two triples and four RBI. Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.) fell a home run shy of the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBI. David Coleman (Jr., Richmond, Va.) also hit a home run for the Cavaliers.
Virginia starting pitcher Will Roberts (So., Richmond, Va.) batted through some bouts of wildness to pitch five innings of two-run baseball and earn the win. Roberts (3-0) allowed four hits and six walks while striking out three.
Towson starter Austin Hurd (0-2) lasted one inning and pitched to the first six batters of the second inning without recording an out. He allowed six earned runs, five hits and three walks with one strikeout.
Towson (5-20) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the damage could have been worse. Roberts gave up a pair of walks, with a double to Andrew Parker sandwiched in between, to load the bases with none out. Steve Rice then hit a sacrifice fly to score Kurt Wertz. Roberts rebounded to get Ben Winter to ground out and Nick Natoli to strike out to end the threat.
Virginia (22-4) countered with its second-largest scoring inning of the season, a seven-run second inning. The first eight Virginia batters reached base safely, while the first seven came around to score. John Barr (Jr., Ivyland, Pa.) led off with a single and Coleman followed with a walk. Bruno then tripled to deep right-center to give UVa a 2-1 lead. Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) hit a single to left to score Bruno and Chris Taylor followed with a single of his own. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) followed with a walk. Wes Shifflett entered in relief, but Proscia cleared the bases with a triple to center to push the UVa lead to 6-1. Parker then singled to right to plate Proscia with the seventh run of the inning.
UVa tacked on a run in the third when Bruno scored from third on a Shifflett wild pitch.
The Tigers got a run in the fifth inning when Natoli and Kevin Collins hit back-to-back doubles to start the inning.
Virginia roared back with six runs in the bottom of the fifth. Coleman led off with his first home run of the season – a blast which landed in the trees in deep left-center field. Virginia later scored when Proscia reached on a fielding error with the bases loaded, scoring Bruno. Mike Ryan came on to pitch to Parker, who cranked a long grand slam to right-center to stretch UVa’s lead to 14-2. It was Parker’s second homer of the year.
Towson got solo home runs from Eric Weller and Rice in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, to cut the deficit to 14-4, but Virginia countered with a run in its half of the seventh when Barr grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Proscia.
UVa finished its scoring onslaught with a pair of eighth-inning runs on a Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) RBI triple and a Taylor sacrifice fly. Werman’s triple was UVa’s fourth of the day – entering the week, UVa was 12th in the nation in triples. The Cavaliers now have hit 16 three-baggers this season.
Virginia, with a 7-2 ACC record, heads to NC State this weekend for a three-game ACC series. The series begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, with 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday games set to follow. The Friday and Sunday games will air on WINA 1070-AM, while all three games will be available through a V Pass subscription on VirginiaSports.com.