CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) followed up his perfect-game outing with seven innings of shutout pitching as he led the top-ranked Virginia baseball team to a 2-0 win over Radford Tuesday evening on Throwback Night at Davenport Field. Virginia (29-2) won its 10th straight game – the Cavaliers’ second double-figure winning streak of the season (13 from March 1-19).
Virginia recorded its ninth shutout of the season, which is tied for the third most in program history with the 2007 squad. That figure stands two shy of the school and ACC record of 11, set by the 2005 Virginia team and 1977 Clemson squad. Virginia also lowered its season team ERA to 1.93 – its starting pitchers have not given up a run in the last 25.1 innings.
Roberts (6-0) allowed just three hits while striking out six. He did not walk a batter. Roberts has not surrendered a run in his last three starts, covering 21-consecutive innings, and lowered his ERA to 0.96. He last allowed a run in the sixth inning of the 7-3 win over James Madison on March 16.
Roberts retired the first four batters he faced before giving up a clean single to right field by Alex Guerra in the second inning. It snapped his streak of 34 straight outs, dating to the Towson game on March 22.
Kyle Crockett (Fr., Poquoson, Va.) pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Branden Kline (So., Frederick, Md.) blanked the Highlanders (16-12) in the ninth to record his 11th save, tying Georgia’s Tyler Maloof for the national lead. UVa’s pitchers surrendered just four hits and did not walk a batter.
Radford reliever Brad Wimmer took the loss and fell to 2-2 after giving up a pair of runs (one earned) in two innings of work. Radford starter Cassidy McDaniel worked out of trouble throughout the night in pitching 4.2 scoreless innings.
The Cavaliers put runners on base in every inning and finished with 10 hits but left a season-high 15 runners on base. David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.), Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) and Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) each had a pair of hits for Virginia.
Radford recorded its first major threat of the day in the fourth inning. Jeff Kemp led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a balk. With one out Matt Mack lifted a fly ball down the right-field line. Coleman made the catch in foul territory, then fired a one-hopper to the plate and catcher Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) held on through the contact to tag out Kemp and keep the game scoreless.
After leaving 10 runners on base in the first five innings and leaving the bases loaded in the second and fourth, Virginia broke through in the sixth inning. With one out Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) walked. He advanced to second on a Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) single to right. John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) grounded to shortstop Jeff Kemp who fumbled the ball, then hurriedly threw to second and chucked it into right field, allowing Werman to coast home with the game’s first run.
The Cavaliers added a run in the seventh with two outs when Gragnani launched a triple to right-center field, scoring Jared King (Jr., Radford, Va.) from third base.
Virginia travels to No. 8 Georgia Tech this weekend for a three-game ACC series with the Yellow Jackets. The teams will play at 7 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.