CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Freshman Mike Papi (Tunkhannock, Pa.) hit a two-run walk-off single in the 11th inning to propel the Virginia baseball team to a 6-5 victory over William and Mary Tuesday in front of 2,598 fans at Davenport Field. UVa (2-1-1) also rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the eighth inning to send the game to extra innings.
William & Mary (2-2) scored a run on a UVa error in the top of the 11th, but Virginia came back in the bottom of the inning. Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) hit a leadoff single and Mitchell Shifflett (So., Midlothian, Va.) walked. Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners in scoring position, and Papi ripped the 3-2 pitch over the drawn-in infield into right field, with Shifflett touching home plate with his left hand just before the tag of catcher Chris Forsten.
Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBI for Virginia; his bases-clearing double in the eighth inning was key in the Cavaliers’ first rally. Taylor and Reed Gragnani (Jr., Richmond, Va.) each had a pair of hits.
Ryan Lindemuth went 3-for-7 for the Tribe, while Forsten had a pair of doubles and two runs scored.
Justin Thompson (Sr., Danville, Va.) worked the final three innings for Virginia and earned his first decision of the year. UVa starting pitcher Joel Effertz (Jr., Ladysmith, Wis.) worked 2.2 innings, allowing two runs, six hits and three walks while fanning four. UVa pitchers walked 10 batters in the contest.
The Cavaliers overcame a fine start from William & Mary’s Matt Davenport, who worked 6.2 shutout innings while limiting UVa to two hits. Jay McCarthy (0-1) pitched to the first two batters in the 11th and was credited with the loss.
The 4-hour, 17-minute marathon was marked by missed chances on both sides. William & Mary left 19 runners on base and at least one runner in all but one inning. UVa left 11 runners stranded.
William & Mary jumped to a 4-0 lead and was cruising heading into the eighth inning. The Tribe scored a pair of runs in the second inning on a safety squeeze by Ryan Williams followed by an RBI single by Josh Smith.
William and Mary added a fourth-inning run on a Lindemuth two-out RBI single against reliever Artie Lewicki (So., Wyckoff, N.J.), then pushed the lead to 4-0 in the seventh following a throwing error by UVa catcher Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.), which allowed Forsten to score.
With just two hits through seven innings, Virginia came alive to bat around and score four times in the eighth inning. After the Cavaliers loaded the bases with none out, King crushed the first pitch from reliever John Farrell over the head of center fielder Ryan Brown, clearing the bases and cutting the lead to 4-3. Two outs later, Irving singled to center to tie the game.
The Tribe left two runners on base in the ninth inning and three more in the 10th against Thompson before breaking through in the 11th. With the bases loaded and one out, Tadd Bower grounded to King at first base, who fired home for the force out, but the throw back to first was wild, allowing Smith to scamper home.
UVa returns home this weekend for a three-game series with Monmouth (3-0). The teams will play at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.