Four-Run Second Inning Lifts ECU to 4-3 Win over No. 10 Cavaliers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – East Carolina scored four runs with two out in the second inning, and the Pirates made it stand up in a 4-3 win over the No. 10 Virginia baseball team Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field. Virginia, which dropped its first game in seven outings season, scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings but could not dig itself out of the early hole.
Outside of the brief stretch in the second inning, Virginia’s pitching again was strong. Starter Cody Winiarski (Sr., Franksville, Wis.) overcame some early struggles to toss 6.1 innings for the Cavaliers and keep them in the game. He gave up four earned runs, seven hits and two walks while striking out six. He was credited with his first career loss and dropped to 1-1 this year.
Mike Wright (2-0) tossed a stellar seven innings for East Carolina (4-2). He allowed two runs (one earned), five hits and one walk while striking out four. Seth Simmons worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth inning to pitch a scoreless inning and earn his first save.
Virginia (6-1) used four pitchers out of the bullpen. After not pitching for the past two seasons at UVa because of a shoulder injury, Scott Silverstein (Jr., Olney, Md.) made his first pitching appearance Sunday. He pitched one perfect inning while recording a strikeout.
Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) went 2-for-4 and scored twice to pace the Cavaliers’ offense, which was held to seven sings. Mike Ussery had the game’s big hit, a three-run double, for ECU, which finished with eight hits.
East Carolina used timely two-out hitting to score all the runs it needed in the second inning. Chase McDonald led off with a walk and advanced on a sacrifice. Ben Fultz singled to right, where Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) made a diving attempt and knocked the ball down. He quickly returned the ball to the infield, and McDonald did not advance. One out later Philip Clark beat out a single to shortstop. Ussery then smacked a bases-clearing double to center field. One batter later, Corey Thompson lined a single to right to score Ussery and give the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
Virginia was flummoxed by Wright for much of the day and did not get its first hit until the fifth inning. The Cavaliers cracked the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Taylor hit a one-out single and advanced on an errant pickoff throw by Wright. Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) bunted Taylor to third and Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to cut the lead to 4-1.
The Cavaliers chipped away in the seventh. John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) led off with a single but was erased when John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) grounded into a fielder’s choice. David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) ripped a single to move Barr to third, and pinch hitter Ryan Levine (So., Montvale, N.J.) grounded into a fielder’s choice and beat the throw to first, allowing Barr to score.
Virginia added a run in the eighth. Taylor led off with a single and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Werman. As Proscia struck out swinging, Werman was thrown out attempting to steal second, but Taylor scored from third on the play to bring UVa within 4-3.
UVa got the leadoff runner on in the ninth when Hicks coaxed a walk, but he was caught stealing in a close play on the next pitch, and Simmons set the Cavaliers down in order from there.
Virginia continues its 11-game homestand with a pair of midweek games this week. UVa takes on William and Mary at 4 p.m. Tuesday, then plays host to Niagara at 4 p.m. Wednesday.