Morey, Parker Propel No. 1 Virginia Baseball to 11-1 Win at Duke
DURHAM, N.C. – Behind huge games from Robert Morey (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) and Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.), the top-ranked Virginia baseball team defeated Duke, 11-1, Saturday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. The victory stretched the Cavaliers’ season-long win streak to nine games and clinched UVa’s seventh ACC series win this year.
Morey (7-1) pitched his first career complete game, marking the Cavaliers’ second straight complete game after Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) went the distance Friday night. It is the first time Cavalier pitchers have thrown back-to-back complete games since Jacob Thompson and Pat McAnaney did so March 28-29, 2008 against Virginia Tech.
Parker posted his first career five-hit game and his first career two-home run game. He scored three times and drove in four and pushed his home run total to six. John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) had three hits, including a homer, while Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) homered and hit a three-run double.
After going scoreless through the first four innings, Virginia’s bats scorched the rest of the way as the Cavaliers (38-9, 17-6 ACC) finished with 17 hits, one day after recording 16 knocks on Friday night.
Morey allowed just an earned run, five hits and one walk while striking out eight as he pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his career. Duke starter Marcus Stroman (5-2) held Virginia in check for the first four innings and lasted 6.1 innings, giving up five earned runs and 11 hits with seven strikeouts.
Morey and Stroman matched zeros for the first three-and-a-half innings before the Blue Devils (25-20, 7-16) struck first on a solo home run by Dennis O’Grady which just cleared the wall and the glove of a leaping Parker in center field.
Virginia countered in the fifth inning when Parker led off with a single and stole second base. He scored when Hicks drilled his fifth home run of the season over the 375-foot sign in left-center field.
The Cavaliers tacked on a run in the sixth inning. Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) led off with a single and Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) then ripped a shot which struck Gosselin on a hit-and-run – the bizarre play went down in the books as a single for Werman, with Gosselin out unassisted to the second baseman. Werman moved to second on a Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) single to center. With two outs Parker cranked a single to right, with Werman sliding in just before the tag to push the UVa lead to 3-1.
Virginia opened up an eight-run lead by scoring six runs and sending 10 batters to the plate in the seventh inning. Hicks led off with a double and John Barr (Jr., Ivyland, Pa.) followed with a single off the glove of Stroman, who then threw wildly to first, allowing Hicks to score and Barr to advance to second. Two outs later against reliever Chase Bebout, Werman and Grovatt drew back-to-back walks to load the bases.
Proscia then hit the first pitch he saw off the top of the Blue Monster in left-center, clearing the bases and giving UVa a 7-1 lead. Parker then crushed his first homer of the day – a monster shot which cleared the stands in right-center field and caromed off the next-door building on one hop.
The Cavaliers added their final two runs in the ninth inning when Proscia and Parker cranked back-to-back home runs – each to left-center. It marked the first time Cavalier batters have hit back-to-back homers since Proscia and Hicks did so May 15, 2009 at Virginia Tech. Proscia’s eighth home run of the year clanged off the awning of the building beyond the Blue Monster, while Parker’s blast fell just short of that mark.
Virginia goes for the series sweep at 1 p.m. Sunday.