DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 25 Virginia baseball team came back from an early deficit and exploded for nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings in capturing a 12-3 win over Duke Saturday afternoon in game 1 of a doubleheader at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) recorded a career-high five hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
Shane Halley (Sr., Burke, Va.) was sensational out of the bullpen for Virginia (25-14-1, 10-10 ACC). Halley (6-1) entered with none out in the third inning and UVa trailing, but he worked a career-high 6.0 innings of shutout baseball to earn the win. He allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out a pair.
Duke starting pitcher Trent Swart (3-6) took the loss after allowing eight runs (four earned), nine hits and two walks while fanning five. UVa starting pitcher Scott Silverstein (Sr., Olney, Md.) worked 2.0 innings, giving up three earned runs, four hits and one walk while striking out one.
Bruno recorded the most hits in a game by a Cavalier since Jarrett Parker posted five knocks against Duke on May 1, 2010. Bruno had a pair of doubles and three singles and also scored three times. Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) hit three doubles for UVa, while Kenny Towns (Fr., Burke, Va.) and Colin Harrington (Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) each had a pair of hits.
Virginia took full advantage of Duke’s three errors. Those miscues led to six unearned runs for the Cavaliers.
Virginia scored first in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from King and Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) to take a 1-0 lead. Duke (15-25, 7-13) quickly erased that on consecutive RBI doubles from Angelo La Bruna and David Perkins in its half of the second.
The Blue Devils added a run in the third. Will Piwnica-Worms hit a leadoff triple off Silverstein, who then was replaced by Halley. One out later, Mike Rosenfeld ripped a single to left to plate the run.
UVa moved ahead for good with a three-run fifth inning. Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) walked with one out and advanced on a wild pitch. He scored on a double with two outs by Bruno. Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) then hit a slow roller on the infield which first baseman Jeff Kremer tossed over the head of Swart as he covered first base, and Bruno scored on the error. King cranked a double to center to bring Fisher home and give UVa a 4-3 edge.
The Cavaliers blew the game open with a six-run sixth inning as they batted around and sent a dozen men to the plate. Towns led off with a single, and Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) bunted his way on when no one covered first base. Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) laid down a sacrifice bunt which was bobbled by Kremer to load the bases with none out. Taylor walked to force in a run, and Harrington followed with a two-run single against reliever Drew Van Orden to move UVa ahead, 7-3.
Bruno followed with a single to left to again load the bases. Fisher then grounded slowly in front of the plate, but Van Orden threw the ball high to the plate, allowing Taylor to slide home safely. Harrington was thrown out at the plate following a wild pitch for the first out of the inning, but King was hit by a pitch to again load the bases. Downes walked to force in a run, and one out later Irving was hit by a pitch to bring in the sixth run of the inning for a 10-3 lead.
The Cavaliers added a pair of runs in the seventh inning on a Fisher RBI groundout and King’s third double of the day.