Virginia Baseball Splits Pair of Saturday Games
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team split a pair of games Saturday at Davenport Field, downing Seton Hall, 10-4, before falling a run short in the nightcap, 5-4 to Wright State. The Cavaliers are now 6-3-1 this season.
The round-robin tournament concludes Sunday. Wright State will play Seton Hall at 11 a.m., followed by Virginia vs. Seton Hall at approximately 2:30 p.m. The audio of the UVa-SHU game will be broadcast on VirginiaSports.com. Free hot chocolate and coffee will be available for all fans in attendance, while supplies last.
Virginia 10, Seton Hall 4
In the opener against Seton Hall, the Cavaliers settled in after falling behind 4-3 in the third inning. UVa scored the game’s final seven runs to cruise to the win.
Branden Kline (Jr., Frederick, Md.) bounced back from a slow start to work 6.0 innings, allowing four runs (one earned), five hits and three walks. Kline (2-1) also struck out six in earning the win. Kyle Crockett (So., Poquoson, Va.) and Barrett O’Neill (Fr., Ashland, Mass.) worked the final three innings to close the game.
Seton Hall starter Rick Mangione (0-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up six earned runs, seven hits and two walks in 3.0 innings. Kyle Grimm went 3-for-3 for the Pirates (3-6).
Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) led a 12-hit attack with a 3-for-4 performance. Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the third inning which proved to be all the runs UVa needed.
UVa scored a run in the first on a Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) sacrifice fly, but Seton Hall responded with a run in the second on a Cavalier passed ball. Virginia scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second on a safety squeeze by Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) and a two-out single from Mitchell Shifflett (So., Midlothian, Va.), but Seton Hall again came back in the third with three runs to move ahead 4-3.
Virginia scored three runs of its own in the bottom of the third to take the lead for good. Bruno hit his second sacrifice fly to score Taylor and tie the game. After a Mike Papi (Fr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) double, King launched his second homer of the season – a blast into the trees beyond the left-center wall – to give UVa a 6-4 lead.
The Cavaliers added four insurance runs in the sixth inning. UVa loaded the bases with none out, then scored with the next three batters as Shifflett was hit by a pitch, Taylor singled and Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) walked. One out later Papi drew a walk to force in Shifflett and stretch the lead to 10-4.
Wright State 5, Virginia 4
Wright State broke a 3-all deadlock in the top of the ninth inning and held off a late UVa charge to earn a 5-4 victory.
UVa starter Whit Mayberry (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) worked 6.0 innings, allowing three earned runs, eight hits and no walks while striking out a career-high seven batters. Shane Halley (Sr., Burke, Va.) was credited with the loss and fell to 0-1 this year after allowing the ninth-inning runs.
Wright State reliever Jordan Marker (2-0) fired a scoreless inning out of the bullpen and was credited with the win. WSU starter Lee Valencheck tossed 5.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned), seven hits and two walks while fanning three.
Papi knocked in three runs for the Cavaliers, while Bruno had two of UVa’s nine hits. Garrett Gray had the go-ahead two-run double for WSU (2-6).
UVa jumped to a quick 2-0 lead. Taylor and Werman started the first inning with consecutive singles. After a Bruno bunt advanced the runners, Papi grounded a single up the middle to easily plate both runners.
Wright State broke into the scoring column in the fifth inning. Zach Tanner led off with a single, and one out later Ryan Ashe singled. On a 3-2 pitch Justin Kopale crushed a Mayberry offering into the left-field bleachers for the Raiders’ first homer of the year to give WSU a 3-2 lead.
The Cavaliers took advantage of a Raider miscue to knot the score in their half of the fifth. After falling in an 0-2 hole to lead off the inning, Taylor coaxed a walk. He stole second and one out later moved to third when Bruno reached on an error. Papi followed with a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at 3.
Wright State moved ahead in the ninth. Hibberd led off with a single and Moore followed with a walk. Justin Thompson (Sr., Danville, Va.) came on and Tanner sacrificed the runners to second and third. On an 0-1 count Gray launched a double to the gap in left-center, scoring both runners and giving the Raiders a 5-3 lead.
Virginia loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth. King singled off the glove of second baseman Sam Picchiotti, but Michael Schum was able to retire Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) on a grounder to second to seal the win.