No. 8 Virginia Baseball Shuts Out Niagara, 7-0
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The eighth-ranked Virginia baseball team used a career-high 7.2 scoreless innings from starter Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) in shutting out Niagara, 7-0, Wednesday at Davenport Field. Roberts allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out seven as he earned the win and improved to 1-0 this year.
Virginia’s pitching staff ran its scoreless inning streak to 25 innings and recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since Feb. 20-21, 2009, against Bucknell. UVa’s pitchers allowed just four baserunners, none of whom advanced past second base. After allowing a two-out double in the first inning, Roberts settled down and retired 15 straight batters until a two-out single in the sixth inning. He topped his previous career high of seven innings, set May 12, 2009, against VCU.
Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) broke out of an early-season slump by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.), Jared King (So., Radford, Va.) and Mitchell Shifflett (Fr., Midlothian, Va.) all recorded two hits as part of a 12-hit attack for the Cavaliers (8-1).
Scott Silverstein (Jr., Brookeville, Md.) and Austin Young (Fr., Mechanicsville, Va.) – in his first outing as a Cavalier – each pitched two-thirds of an inning to wrap up the win.
Niagara starter Joel Klock (0-3) was credited with the loss after working an inning and allowing two earned runs and two hits. The Purple Eagles (1-7) used six pitchers in the contest.
Virginia wasted no time in jumping to an early lead. Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) hit Klock’s first pitch back up the middle for a single. Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) was hit by the next pitch. John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) lifted a fly ball to right, which allowed Taylor to move to third, and Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Taylor. Hultzen then ripped a double to left-center to score Werman from first and give UVa a 2-0 lead.
UVa added three runs in the second inning. King led off with a single and one out later Shifflett singled. The runners advanced on a wild pitch, and King scored on a Taylor groundout. Werman then walked and Hicks was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Reliever Cody Kasper uncorked a wild pitch to score Shifflett, and Werman then came home on a passed ball to push the lead to 5-0.
Virginia tacked on two runs in the seventh inning against Connor Sullivan. With one out Hultzen and John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) hit consecutive singles. One out later Swab launched a fly ball to deep left field. Wynton Bernard acrobatically went over the wall and brought the ball back in what first was ruled a catch, but after a long umpire conference, it was deemed that Bernard did not catch the ball. Swab was awarded second base and both runners scored as UVa took a 7-0 advantage.
Virginia will play four games this weekend at Davenport Field as Rider and Cornell come to Davenport Field. UVa will play Cornell at 4 p.m. Friday, then will battle Rider at noon Saturday and Cornell at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Cavaliers will conclude the weekend against Rider at 3 p.m. Sunday. Cornell and Rider will play at noon Friday and 11 a.m. Sunday.