AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 13 Virginia baseball team finished off a perfect weekend at the Auburn Tournament with an 8-2 victory over Arkansas State Sunday at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala. Virginia went 3-0 in the tournament, with wins in the first two days over UAB and No. 23 Auburn.
Once again Virginia received strong starting pitching. After laboring through the first two innings, Virginia starter Cody Winiarski (Sr., Franksville, Wis.) found his groove and pitched 6.0 shutout innings to earn the win. He allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out six.
For the weekend Virginia’s starting pitchers fired 18.2 innings and gave up just one earned run and 10 hits. UVa’s staff of Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.), Tyler Wilson (Sr., Midlothian, Va.) and Winiarski each worked at least six innings; none gave up more than four hits.
Justin Thompson (Jr., Danville, Va.) tossed two innings before freshman lefty Kyle Crockett (Poquoson, Va.) pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the win.
A-State starter Daniel Wright worked 4.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned), five hits and a walk while taking the loss. He did not record a strikeout.
Virginia (3-0) recorded eight hits, with Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) and David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) each picking up two hits. Taylor drove in two runs, as did Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.). UVa benefited from six Arkansas State errors, which led to five unearned runs.
Virginia scored two runs in each of the first two innings. In the first Taylor doubled on Wright’s first pitch and Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) followed with a double to right-center to score the game’s first run. After a Proscia groundout moved Werman to third, Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) hit a sacrifice fly to center.
In the second Stephen Bruno (So., Audubon, N.J.) reached on a fielding error to lead off the frame. A John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) groundout moved Bruno to second, and UVa loaded the bases after Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) drew a walk and Coleman singled to right. Taylor knocked in a pair of runs with single to center.
Arkansas State cut the lead in half in the seventh against Thompson, who walked the first two batters before Thomas Lundborg sacrificed them to second and third. Michael Faulkner grounded into a fielder’s choice, with the runner at third, Logan Uxa, getting tagged out in a quick rundown. Todd Baumgartner picked up the key hit, shooting a double into right-center to score the runners from first and second to pull A-State within 4-2.
UVa took advantage of shoddy A-State defense to score three unearned runs in its half of the seventh. Swab reached on an error by shortstop Anthony Hecht to lead off the inning. Coleman laid down a great bunt and reached for a single when pitcher Wes Dagestad could not get the ball out of his glove. Taylor then put down a sacrifice bunt, but Dagestad booted it to load the bases with none out. Dagestad then balked to score a run and one out later Proscia lined a double down the left-field line to score two and push the lead to 7-2.
Virginia added a run in the eighth. Hicks led off with a double and moved to third on a Stephen Bruno groundout to second. John Barr then grounded to first, with Hicks getting trapped between third and home. During the rundown third baseman Claude Johnson interfered with Hicks, who was then allowed to score.
Virginia returns home Wednesday to start an 11-game homestand as it plays host to VMI at 3 p.m. The Cavaliers then will play East Carolina in a three-game series next weekend at Davenport Field.