CONWAY, S.C. – The Virginia baseball team opened its 2012 season Friday afternoon with a 5-3 defeat against Boston College in the Caravelle Resort Tournament at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field in Conway, S.C. BC bounced back from an early 3-0 deficit, scoring four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE CHANGE: The Cavaliers next will match up with tournament host Coastal Carolina at 2 p.m. Saturday at Watson Stadium. The game time has been moved up one hour because of the threat for inclement weather the rest of the weekend. The UVa-James Madison game, originally scheduled for noon Sunday, now will be played Saturday evening following the UVa-CCU contest. After the conclusion of the game against CCU and weather permitting, Virginia will drive to Myrtle Beach to play JMU at BB&T Coastal Field. That game will start 45 minutes after UVa arrives at the stadium. If the game cannot be played Saturday because of weather, the teams will attempt to play on Sunday.
UVa starting pitcher Branden Kline (Jr., Frederick, Md.) worked into the fifth inning and was credited with the loss. In 4.0 innings he allowed five runs (one earned), seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Reliever Kyle Crockett (So., Poquoson, Va.) was brilliant out of the bullpen, tossing 5.0 shutout innings to keep the game in reach.
BC starter Eric Stevens rebounded from a shaky start to work 6.0 innings, giving up three earned runs, seven hits and one walk while fanning one. He earned the win, while Hunter Gordon pitched a perfect ninth inning to notch the save.
Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) and Reed Gragnani (Jr., Richmond, Va.) each had a pair of hits for Virginia, which finished with eight hits but only two over the final four innings. Spenser Payne hit the go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning for BC. Tom Bourdon added three hits for the Eagles.
UVa jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings. The Cavaliers parlayed three hits and a walk into two second-inning runs. Mike Papi (Fr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) led off with a single, King walked and Gragnani hit a bunt single to load the bases. Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate Papi, and Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) beat out a bunt, which scored King.
The Wahoos added a run in the third as King tripled to deep center to score Papi from first.
The momentum turned in the top of the fourth inning as Boston College took advantage of a pair of UVa miscues to grab a 4-3 lead. Bourdon led off with a double and Matt Pare walked with one out. With two outs, both runners advanced on a passed ball. Kline then struck out Marc Perdios, but the batter reached base on a passed ball, with Bourdon scoring on the play. Payne then cranked a three-run homer over the left-center field wall to give the Eagles a 4-3 lead.
BC tacked on an insurance run in the fifth. After Matt McGovern drew a leadoff walk, Bourdon blooped a single into right and Anthony Melchionda ripped an RBI single to center, which spelled the end of the day for Kline. Crockett came in to strikeout Pare, then induced Andrew Lawrence to line into a double play to end the threat.