CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team lost 8-0 to Liberty Tuesday afternoon at Davenport Field. It marked the Cavaliers’ first regular-season midweek loss at home since April 8, 2009, against Stony Brook, a streak of 28-consecutive games.
Virginia (5-2-1) collected two hits against the Flames’ pitching staff, a second-inning Colin Harrington (Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) single and a ninth-inning Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) single.
Liberty (9-1) finished with 11 hits, including two from Michael Robertson and Trey Wimmer.
Virginia starting pitcher Artie Lewicki (So., Wyckoff, N.J.) worked into the fourth inning and was credited with the loss. In 3.0 innings Lewicki (0-1) allowed five runs (four earned), five hits and two walks while striking out two.
Liberty reliever Blake Forslund (1-0) earned the win after tossing 3.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He walked five but did not allow a hit. Flames starter Tim Dudley worked 2.1 scoreless innings before leaving the game with an apparent injury.
Liberty struck first with a pair of two-out RBI hits in the third inning. Andy Smith walked with one out and then stole second base. He scored with two outs when Tyler Cox singled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Cox moved to second on an errant throw to the plate; this proved key when Bryan Aanderud hit the next pitch up the middle for an RBI single.
The Flames padded their lead with a three-run fourth inning. Ryan Cordell led off with a triple, and Dalton Sype and Zack Haley followed with consecutive run-scoring doubles to knock Lewicki from the game. Reliever Kyle Crockett (So., Poquoson, Va.) induced a pair of groundouts to second base before Robertson lined a single to right-center to plate Haley from third and push the Liberty lead to 5-0.
Liberty’s lead ballooned to 8-0 in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, the Flames took advantage of a muffed throw on an Aanderud fielder’s choice grounder, which would have ended the inning. That brought in a run, and Wimmer followed with a two-run single.
UVa returns to Davenport Field this weekend for a three-team round robin tournament featuring Seton Hall and Wright State. All three teams competed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Two games will be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seton Hall and Wright State open play at noon Friday, and WSU then will face the Cavaliers at 4 p.m.