No. 1 Virginia Baseball Whips No. 20 Virginia Tech, 8-2
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The top-ranked Virginia baseball team scored six runs in its final three trips to the plate as it earned an 8-2 victory over No. 20 Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,219 at Davenport Field. With the win, UVa has clinched the series win – its fifth over a ranked team this year. UVa goes for the series sweep at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Virginia (29-8, 12-5 ACC) steadily stretched its lead in the late innings, scoring twice with two outs in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie, then tallying a run in the seventh and three in the eighth to coast to the win. Virginia Tech fell to 24-13 overall and 8-9 in the ACC.
Virginia starting pitcher Robert Morey (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) worked seven strong innings to earn the win and improve to 5-2 this season. He allowed two earned runs, five hits and three walks while striking out three. Tyler Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) tossed two scoreless innings to pick up his second save.
Virginia Tech starter Mathew Price (4-3) pitched 6.1 innings, allowing five earned runs, nine hits and two walks while striking out two as he took the loss.
The ACC leader in hits with 60, Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) picked up three more Saturday. He also drove in two and scored twice. Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) went 3-for-3 in his 219th career game, as he moved into a fourth-place tie with Adam Robinson (1994-97) and Matt Street (2002-05) on the all-time games played ledger at Virginia. He also scored twice and drove in two.
Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) had two hits and two RBI, while Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) added a pair of hits.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning. Steve Domecus singled on the game’s first pitch for Virginia Tech and moved to second on Sean Ryan’s bunt single. One out later, Austin Wates and Ronnie Shaban drew back-to-back walks to force in a run. Morey escaped the jam by inducing Buddy Sosnoskie to ground back to the mound to start a 1-2-3 double play – the first of three Cavalier double plays during the game.
Gosselin led off UVa’s first inning with a single to left. He moved to second on a Price balk and third on a Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) sacrifice bunt. Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) then grounded out to shortstop to score the run.
Morey escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth – again via a double-play ball as Shaban grounded sharply into a 4-6-3 double play.
UVa scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. Proscia lined a double down the left-field line to lead off the inning. Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) moved Proscia to third with a fly out to center, and Cannon plated the run with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Hokies responded with a run in the fifth. Domecus was hit by a pitch with one out. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single to left field from Ryan.
UVa manufactured a pair of runs to take the lead for good in the sixth inning. Grovatt drew a leadoff walk, then aggressively took second on a pitch in the dirt. He moved to third when Proscia grounded out to first base. After Parker struck out swinging, Cannon hit the 0-2 pitch into right field for a single to score Grovatt. After John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) singled to left on a hit-and-run to send Cannon to third, Swab smacked a single to right to score Cannon and give UVa a 4-2 advantage.
Virginia added a run in the seventh inning. Gosselin singled to lead off the inning, then stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Werman followed with a rocket to right field. Wates broke in on the ball before it sailed over his head and all the way to the wall for a triple to push the UVa lead to 5-2.
In the eighth UVa scored three more runs. Parker led off with a walk. He advanced to second on a Cannon single and to third on a Hicks fly out. Swab followed with a run-scoring single, which sent Cannon to third. A wild pitch moved Swab to second, and with two out Gosselin singled to center to score both runners for the final margin of 8-2.
The series finale will be played at 1 p.m. Sunday. Like the first two games in the series, this game also is sold out, although admissions have been held for students similar to what is done for football and men’s basketball games. Once the stadium’s capacity is reached, student admissions will end.