CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team scored eight runs in the third inning and cruised from there in a 12-3 win over VMI Wednesday at Davenport Field. Chris Taylor went 4-for-4 with three doubles to highlight a 16-hit outing for the Virginia offense.
Mike Papi (Fr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) went 3-for-3, while Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) was 2-for-2 and drove in three runs for Virginia (12-8-1).
Virginia starting pitcher Barrett O’Neill (Fr., Ashland, Mass.) worked 5.0 innings to earn the win. O’Neill (2-0) allowed two earned runs, six hits and a walk while striking out three. Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) struck out six batters over three scoreless innings of relief before Joel Effertz (Jr., Ladysmith, Wis.) pitched the ninth to finish things.
VMI starter Adam Lopez (0-1) tossed 2.0 innings and worked into the third inning in taking the loss. He gave up five runs (four earned), five hits and a walk while striking out three. The Keydets used seven pitchers in the contest.
UVa posted a pair of first-inning runs on an RBI single from Papi and a bases-loaded walk by Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) VMI (6-14) knotted the score at two in the third on a two-out, two-run single by Jacob Morley.
Virginia’s first 10 batters reached safely in the third inning. Papi led off with a double and moved to third on an error by left fielder Gary LeClair. King tripled Papi home and scored on a single by Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.). Reliever Alan Watts faced the next six batters and retired none. He hit Irving with a pitch, then gave up a bunt single to Mitchell Shifflett (So., Midlothian, Va.) to load the bases.
Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) reached on a throwing error, with Fisher and Irving scoring, and Taylor, Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) and Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) followed with consecutive RBI singles, spelling the end of the day for Watts. New Keydet hurler Andrew Deal walked Papi, but got the first out of the inning on a King sacrifice fly. He then retired back-to-back batters to end the inning.
UVa tacked on two runs in the fifth inning on a King RBI single and an Irving sacrifice fly.
The Keydets got a one-out solo home run from Cameron Walter in the ninth inning to wrap up the scoring.
Virginia continues its homestand this weekend as it welcomes Clemson to Davenport Field. The teams are slated to play at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.