Clutch Cavaliers Come Back for 12-8 Win over Miami
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The top-seeded Virginia baseball team rallied from a 6-2 deficit to down No. 4 seed Miami, 12-8, Saturday afternoon at the 2010 ACC Baseball Championship at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C. Virginia finished 2-1 in Division A of the pool-play tournament format. Florida State, also 2-1 in the pool, has won the tiebreaker and Division A’s berth in the championship game by virtue of its win over UVa Thursday.
With its 47th win of the season, Virginia (47-11) matched the 2006 team for the second-most wins in a season in school history. The 2009 team, with 49 victories, is the only Virginia team to win more games.
After posting 11 hits in the first two games of the tournament, Virginia’s offense erupted for 15 Saturday. The Cavaliers also hit three home runs – all coming with two outs in their respective innings. Nine of Virginia’s 12 runs came on two-out hits.
Eight of the nine UVa starters recorded at least one hit, with six, including each of the six through nine-hole hitters, posting at least two knocks. Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) homered as part of 3-for-5, three-RBI day to lead the Cavaliers.
Virginia starting pitcher Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) earned the win to improve to 9-1. While he was touched up early for six runs, he kept the Cavaliers in the game and went six innings. Hultzen allowed a career-high seven runs (five earned) and six hits but struck out six and did not walk a batter. Branden Kline (Fr., Frederick, Md.) and Kevin Arico (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) combined to hold Miami to one run over the final three innings.
E.J. Encinosa (1-1), the third of six Miami pitchers, took the loss for the Hurricanes (40-17) after allowing three runs (one earned) in an inning of work. Miami starter David Gutierrez worked three innings and allowed five runs (four earned), eight hits and two walks and did not record a strikeout. Miami also committed three errors which led to seven unearned runs.
What figured to be a low-scoring affair between the ACC’s top two pitching staffs quickly morphed into an offensive onslaught. Virginia opened the scoring with a first-inning run on a solo home run to right field by Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.), his second home run of the tournament and eighth of the season.
Miami responded with a pair of second-inning runs. With one out Chris Pelaez reached on a Hultzen fielding error, and Nathan Melendres followed with a two-run home run onto the hillside in left-center field.
The Hurricanes took advantage of poor Virginia defense in scoring four times in the third inning. Frankie Ratcliff reached on an infield single to start the inning when he beat out the late throw. Zeke DeVoss then sacrificed Ratcliff to second, but John Hicks’ throw to first on the play was errant and allowed Ratcliff to reach and both runners to advance a base. After Scott Lawson singled in a run, Hultzen rebounded to strike out Yasmani Grandal on three pitches. Harold Martinez crushed Hultzen’s next pitch for a three-run homer to left, giving the Hurricanes a 6-2 advantage.
Virginia answered with three runs in its half of the third. With one out, five straight UVa batters reached base. Grovatt and Proscia hit back-to-back singles, and Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) walked to load the bases before Hicks singled to center to plate two runs and move Parker to second. Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) then singled to center, but the Hurricanes threw Parker out at the plate. A wild pitch advanced the runners and when Grandal, the catcher, tried to throw out Hicks at third on the play, the toss sailed wildly and allowed Hicks to come home.
Miami got a run back in the fifth inning on a solo home run to left-center by DeVoss.
The Cavaliers then scored seven unanswered runs in taking a 12-7 lead. In the sixth, Virginia scored four times to move ahead. The first three Cavaliers reached base, with the third, Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.), reaching on an error. Pinch hitter Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Valdes. After a Grovatt lineout, Proscia hit a no-doubter off pitcher Sam Robinson to left-center field – a three-run home run to give UVa the lead back, 9-7. It marked his second homer of the tournament and his team-high 10th of the year.
With one out in the seventh inning, Cannon singled to left-center. Valdes then grounded to Lawson at first, who fired errantly to second for an error on the attempted force. One out later, Gosselin cranked a 2-2 pitch high over the left-field wall for a three-run homer, his ninth long ball of the year, which pushed the UVa advantage to 12-7.
The Hurricanes added a run in the ninth inning on Michael Broad’s leadoff homer to left-center field.
Virginia will now await its NCAA tournament fate. The 16 NCAA Regional host sites will be announced Sunday afternoon, while the field of 64 for the tournament will be announced on ESPN at 12:30 p.m. Monday.
Tickets remain available for potential NCAA Regional and Super Regional tournaments at Davenport Field. Regional all-session ticket books will be sold for $60 for Reserved seating and $45 for General Admission seating, while Super Regional all-session ticket books may be purchased for $36 for Reserved seating and $24 for General Admission seating. As of Friday evening, nearly 3,000 tickets have been sold for the potential regional as well over 3,000 for a potential super regional.
Tickets may be ordered online at VirginiaSports.com, in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium or by phone at (800) 542-UVA1. The ticket office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day.