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– The eighth-ranked Virginia baseball team won a pair of games Friday, downing Cornell 12-1 before shutting out Rider 12-0 in the nightcap at Davenport Field. Virginia improved to 10-1 with the victories.

Virginia will play two more games Saturday, taking on Rider at 11 a.m. and Cornell at 2 p.m. Cornell and Rider will square off at 5 p.m.

The Cavaliers’ pitching dominated again on Friday, allowing just an earned run and 10 hits while striking out 23 and walking two. UVa lowered its team ERA to a miniscule 1.64 through 11 games. Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) was dominant once again, tossing seven shutout innings in the second game vs. Rider.

Game 1 – Virginia 12, Cornell 1
The Cavaliers scored 12 unanswered runs in rolling to a 12-1 win over Cornell in the first game Friday. UVa rolled up 13 hits, with Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) and John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) each going 3-for-4.

Virginia’s pitching staff gave up a quick run in the first inning but rebounded to blank the Big Red (0-2) the rest of the way. Whit Maybery (So., Alexandria, Va.) made the start and worked 5.0 innings, allowing an earned run, six hits and a walk while striking out three as he improved to 2-0 this year. Mayberry tied a career high with his five-inning effort. Three UVa relievers combined to allow just one baserunner over the final four innings.

Cornell wasted no time in posting a run in the first, getting a leadoff triple from Brian Billigen and a Brenton Peters walk before Mayberry balked in the run.

Virginia countered with a four-run first inning. Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) led off with a walk and Gragnani and Hicks followed with singles to load the bases. Ryan Levine (So., Hackensack, N.J.) was hit by a pitch to force in a run and Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) followed with a run-scoring single. John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) grounded into a fielder’s choice to force in a run, but an error on the play left the bases loaded with none out. David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) then grounded into a double play to score Levine and push the lead to 4-1.

The Cavaliers added a pair of two-out, second-inning runs on an RBI single by Hicks and a Levine RBI double – his first hit in a UVa uniform.

UVa broke the game wide open with three runs in sixth inning and three more in the seventh. With one out in the sixth, Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) and Taylor hit back-to-back singles. Gragnani then reached on a throwing error, with Werman scoring from second base. One out later Levine walked to load the bases and Proscia ripped a double down the left-field line to plate two and stretch the Cavaliers’ advantage to 9-1.

In the seventh the Cavaliers received a two-run triple from Taylor, followed by a run-scoring single from Gragnani to provide the final runs in the 12-1 win.

Game 2 – Virginia 12, Rider 0
Virginia used a pair of six-run innings to roll to the 12-0 win in the nightcap against Rider (2-3). The Cavaliers managed only five hits, but Rider walked 12 batters, hit two more and committed a pair of costly errors to aid the Virginia effort.

Hultzen (3-0) thoroughly dominated once again, allowing just two baserunners on singles in his seven innings. He struck out 11 and walked none while going to a three-ball count just twice. He retired the final 16 batters he faced. It marked his third straight double-figure strikeout game. In 20.2 innings pitched this year, Hultzen has allowed just two runs, eight hits and one walk while striking out 36 (0.87 ERA).

At the plate Hultzen reached four times – three via walks – and also stole a pair of bases.

Right-hander Austin Young (Fr., Mechanicsville, Va.) tossed two scoreless innings to wrap up the Cavaliers’ third shutout in the last four games.

Rider starter Nate Eppley (1-1) worked 6.0 innings, allowing six runs (three earned), two hits and six walks while striking out one in taking the loss.

Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored to pace the Cavaliers’ offense. Barr and Coleman each drove in two and scored twice.

Virginia sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run second inning. UVa got just two hits in the inning, but benefited from an error, two hit batsmen and three walks. Hultzen led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a Proscia single to right. Barr hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Hultzen, and scored when Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) tripled to right-center field wall. Coleman then reached on an error, with Swab scoring on the play to push the lead to 3-0. That error proved key as UVa tacked on three unearned runs, as Gragnani was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Hicks grounded out to bring in a run and Taylor scored on a passed ball.

UVa scored six again in the seventh, while also sending 11 to the plate. With one out Hicks walked and Hultzen reached on an error. Proscia walked to load the bases, and Barr walked to force in a run. Swab followed with a two-run double to increase the advantage to 9-0. Coleman followed with an RBI double, Levine added a run-scoring groundout and Coleman later scored on a wild pitch to wrap up the scoring.

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