CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Shane Halley (Sr., Burke, Va.) pitched six scoreless innings of relief and held No. 15 Miami at bay as the No. 25 Virginia baseball team rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to claim a 7-4 win over the Hurricanes Sunday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla. Winners of six-consecutive games, Virginia (30-14-1, 13-10 ACC) clinched its third straight series win over Miami (27-16, 12-11).
Halley (7-1) worked six shutout innings out of the bullpen for the second straight ACC weekend; he did the same last Saturday in the first game of the doubleheader at Duke. He gave up two hits and two walks and struck out a career-high seven batters. Justin Thompson (Sr., Danville, Va.) struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his eighth save. UVa’s bullpen now has tossed 24-consecutive scoreless innings in ACC play.
Colin Harrington (Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) and Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) each had a pair of hits and two RBI for Virginia. Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) scored a pair of run for the Cavaliers.
Miami starting pitcher Steven Ewing was handed his first loss of the year. Ewing (4-1) tossed 5.0 innings, giving up five runs (one earned), five hits and two walks while striking out four. UVa starting pitcher Scott Silverstein (Sr., Olney, Md.) worked 2.0 innings, allowing four earned runs, four hits and three walks.
Miami’s defense did its pitching staff no favors, committing five errors which led to six unearned runs for Virginia. On the flip side, UVa’s defense was outstanding as the Cavaliers played errorless baseball while also turning a pair of slick double plays.
Miami did all of its scoring in the second inning. With one out Brad Fieger hit a solo homer to left field. Alex San Juan singled, but was replaced on the basepaths by Julian Santos following a fielder’s choice. Silverstein then issued back-to-back walks to Esteban Tresgallo and Garrett Kennedy, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in the lineup, before Stephen Perez ripped a bases-clearing double to give the Hurricanes a 4-0 lead.
The Cavaliers came back with a run in the third. Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) led off with a single. Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) then laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an errant throw by the catcher Kennedy, which allowed Werman to move to third. Harrington followed with another bunt to easily score Werman.
Virginia added a run in the fourth, getting a King walk and Kenny Towns (Fr., Burke, Va.) single before Irving doubled down the right-field line with one out to score a run. UVa then loaded the bases but failed to produce when Ewing struck out Taylor and Harrington to squelch the threat.
UVa tied the game in the fifth inning. Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) drew a four-pitch walk to lead off, and all hands were safe when Perez dropped a throw from Tresgallo at first on a Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) grounder. King grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Fisher out at second for the first out and Bruno moving to third. Towns hit a slow roller to second for the second out as Bruno scored. Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) followed with an RBI double to right-center, and Irving singled to center to score Downes and give UVa its first lead, 5-4.
The Cavaliers added a pair of runs in the eighth to pad their lead to 7-4. Irving reached when second baseman Michael Broad booted his grounder to lead off the inning. Werman bunted Irving to second, and Taylor grounded to second to advance Irving to third. Harrington then hit a single to center to score the run, and Bruno went the other way with a double into the right-field corner to score Harrington from first.
The teams will play the final game of the series at 7 p.m. Monday. The game will be televised on ESPNU as part of ESPN’s ACC Mondays package.