No. 13 Virginia Baseball Cruises Past No. 23 Auburn, 13-2
AUBURN, Ala. – Behind six shutout innings from starting pitcher Tyler Wilson (Sr., Midlothian, Va.) and 13 runs from the offense over the final five innings, the No. 13 Virginia baseball team routed No. 23 Auburn, 13-2, Saturday afternoon in the Auburn Tournament, held at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala.
Making his first start after 51-consecutive relief outings, Wilson was extremely impressive. He worked six innings, allowing just three singles and two walks while striking out six in picking up the win. Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) tossed a perfect seventh inning, while Ryan Ashooh (Fr., Clifton, Va.) made his first UVa appearance and pitched the final two innings.
Virginia racked up 17 hits in the game, highlighted by three doubles from Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.). For the second straight day, Hultzen knocked in three runs. John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) also drove in three, while Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) added three hits and a pair of RBI.
Cory Luckie started for Auburn and worked 5.1 innings, allowing four earned runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out five in taking the loss. UVa battered the Tigers’ bullpen, scoring nine runs (five earned) against the Auburn relief staff.
After struggling early to get a clutch hit, Virginia broke through and repeatedly picked up key hits over the final four innings. The Cavaliers’ first seven runs all came with two outs.
Virginia recorded five hits – all singles – in the first four innings and stranded all five. The tide turned in the fifth inning when the Cavaliers scored three times. Jared King (Jr., Radford, Va.) led off with his second single of the game and one out later stole second base. With two out Proscia coaxed a walk. Hicks followed with a double into the left-field corner to plate King with the game’s first run and move Proscia to third. Hultzen then ripped a double to nearly the same spot, scoring two and giving UVa a 3-0 lead.
The Cavaliers doubled their lead in the sixth, again scoring all three runs with two out. With one out Swab drew a walk. With Swab running pinch hitter Ryan Levine (So., Hackensack, N.J.) grounded out. Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) then singled to center to score Swab. Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) followed with a hit-and-run single through a massive hole on the right side to move Taylor to third. On the next play, with Werman running to second, catcher Tony Caldwell threw errantly down to second as Werman slammed on the breaks – Taylor trotted home on the play while Werman was able to take second. Proscia then singled to left to bring Werman home with UVa’s sixth run.
UVa tacked on a run in the seventh with more crafty baserunning. With runners on first and third and none out, Barr struck out as Bruno attempted to steal second. Bruno was thrown out, but Hultzen came home on the play to give UVa a 7-0 lead.
The lead ballooned to 10-0 in the eighth on RBI doubles by Proscia and Hultzen, with a sacrifice fly from Hicks sandwiched between the hits.
Auburn broke into the scoring column in the eighth against Ashooh, getting a one-out single from pinch hitter Tyler Dial to score Mike Reed, who was the first Tiger in the game to advance past first base.
The Cavaliers responded with three more runs in the ninth while benefiting from an Auburn error. UVa got its first run of the frame when shortstop Zach Alvord allowed a potential double-play grounder to go through his legs; Swab scored from second on the play. UVa then got a sac fly from Hicks and a pinch-single from Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) for its final two runs.
The Tigers added one final run in the ninth inning on a sac fly from Reed.
UVa wraps up the Auburn Tournament with a noon ET contest with Arkansas State on Sunday. The Cavaliers’ home schedule commences at 3 p.m. Wednesday against VMI.