No. 6 Virginia Slips Past Marshall, 1-0
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team ran its winning streak to seven games with a 1-0 victory over Marshall Tuesday afternoon at Davenport Field. It marked Virginia’s first 1-0 win since March 27, 2001, against Richmond.
Pitching and defense obviously ruled the day, with the teams combining for 15 hits, including 14 singles.
Virginia’s pitching staff, which was named InsidePitching.com’s National Pitching Staff of the Week on Monday, continued its strong start to the season by notching its fourth shutout of the year – double the Cavaliers’ total from all of 2010. Virginia (13-1) lowered its 2011 team ERA to 1.50.
The starting pitchers matched each other pitch-for-pitch for most of the afternoon. UVa’s Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) worked six stellar innings, allowing just four hits and no walks while tying a career high with eight strikeouts. He earned the win and improved to 2-0 this season.
Marshall starter Arik Sikula (0-3) was equally impressive, despite taking the loss. He also worked six innings and gave up one unearned run, six hits and three walks while fanning two.
Three Cavalier relievers combined to blank Marshall over the final three innings. Justin Thompson (Jr., Danville, Va.) escaped a jam in the seventh inning and tossed 1.2 scoreless innings. Scott Silverstein (Jr., Brookeville, Md.) pitched to one batter in the eighth before Branden Kline (So., Frederick, Md.) recorded the final four outs to notch his fifth save in as many tries.
Virginia picked up seven hits, with Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) and John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) each notching a pair of hits. Marshall (5-6) finished with eight hits, highlighted by a three-hit day from Isaac Ballou.
The lone scoring came in the fourth inning when Virginia took advantage of a Marshall error. Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) led off the inning with a rocket single which whizzed past third base and into left field, where Justin Maynard misplayed the ball, allowing Swab to advance two bases. John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) followed with a sacrifice fly to right-center field.
Both teams squandered scoring opportunities. UVa left the bases loaded in the third, made a critical baserunning error to squelch a fifth-inning threat and grounded into a double play with two runners on in the eighth inning. Marshall had a runner picked off in the third and left two runners on base in the fourth and seventh innings.
Virginia opens ACC play this weekend by traveling to No. 4 Clemson – the Cavaliers’ first visit to Doug Kingsmore Stadium since the 2007 season. The teams are slated to play at 4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.