Hultzen Fires Complete-Game Gem in No. 1 Cavaliers' 12-3 Win at Duke
DURHAM, N.C. – Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) tossed Virginia’s first complete game in more than two years in leading the No. 1-ranked Cavalier baseball team to a 12-3 win over Duke Friday evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.
Hultzen tied a career high by striking out 13 batters and retired 21 of the final 22 hitters that he faced. He allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits and did not walk a batter. It marked Virginia’s first complete game since Pat McAnaney pitched eight innings in a complete-game loss at Miami on April 25, 2008. It was the first nine-inning complete game since McAnaney went the distance against Virginia Tech on March 29, 2008.
Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) tied a career high with four hits as Virginia piled up 16 hits in the contest. Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) each had a pair of hits and drove in three. Eight of the nine Virginia starters had at least one hit, while six recorded two or more.
Duke starting pitcher Dennis O’Grady (0-4) took the loss. He worked five innings and pitched to the first two batters in the sixth inning. He allowed four earned runs, nine hits and one walk while striking out six.
Duke (25-19, 7-15 ACC) got on the board in the first inning. With two out Will Piwnica-Worms reached on an error. He then stole second and scored on a bloop single to center by Jeremy Gould.
Virginia (37-9, 16-6) responded with a run in the second. Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) led off with a triple off the top of the Blue Monster in left field. He scored on a Cannon sacrifice fly. The Blue Devils struck right back in their half of the second, as Marcus Stroman led off with a double on a ball that Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) lost in the sun in right field. Stroman advanced on a Brian Litwin groundout and scored on an Eric Brady sacrifice fly.
The Cavaliers scored again in the third. With one out Werman singled to right and moved to third on a hit-and-run single to right by Grovatt. One out later Parker again struck for extra bases – this time with a double to right to plate Werman and tie the game.
Duke was poised to forge ahead once again in its half of the third when Jake Lemmerman led off with a triple to right-center, but Hultzen buckled down for three straight outs to keep the game tied.
Hultzen set the side down in order in the fourth and fifth before UVa broke the stalemate with a three-run sixth inning. Cannon and Hicks singled on back-to-back pitches to start the inning and force O’Grady from the game. Reliever Ben Grisz then walked Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) to load the bases before Reed Gragnani (Fr., Richmond, Va.) ripped a single through the right side of the infield to score Cannon and Hicks and push the lead to 4-2. UVa then loaded the bases again against reliever Jonathan Foreman before Grovatt drew a walk to force in a run and give UVa a 5-2 lead.
Duke got its last lone baserunner in the final six innings in its half of the sixth when Gould hit a solo home run.
The Cavaliers put the game away with a six-run eighth inning. With one out Gosselin doubled to left-center. Werman and Grovatt drew back-to-back and with two outs Gosselin scored on a Ryan McCurdy passed ball. Parker then coaxed a walk to load the bases once again, and Cannon drilled a single to center to plate a pair of runs. Hicks then launched a three-run homer to left-center, easily clearing the 32-foot-high Blue Monster to push the lead to 11-3. It was Hicks’ fourth home run of the season.
Virginia added a final run in the ninth on a Grovatt RBI single.
Game two of the three-game series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.