CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 21 Virginia baseball team shook off the rust of an eight-day layoff for final exams by rolling to a 12-3 victory over High Point Wednesday evening at a soggy Davenport Field. The win extended Virginia’s winning streak to a season-high eight games. UVa (32-14-1) posted a four-run third inning and a six-run seventh inning in a game which started one hour, 57 minutes late because of rain.
Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) paced the Cavaliers’ 11-hit night with a 3-for-3 effort. He also scored three times and drove in two. Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) and Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) each had two hits and a pair of RBI, while Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) scored three times.
Both teams utilized a staff day on the mound, with several pitchers on each side getting work. Virginia used six pitchers, while seven High Point pitchers saw playing time.
Virginia reliever Shane Halley (Sr., Burke, Va.) earned the victory and improved to 8-1 this year after tossing three innings of one-run relief. High Point starter Jacob Newberry (3-6) pitched three innings in taking the loss. He gave up four runs on five hits in the third inning.
High Point (23-25) struck first with a run in the opening inning against UVa starter Scott Silverstein (Sr., Olney, Md.). With one out Dan McDermott lined a double off the right-field wall, and he scored on a two-out bloop single to right by Sean Wilson.
After going hitless through the first two innings, Virginia came alive with four runs in the third. Downes and Irving hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and put runners on the corners. Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) laid down a safety squeeze to score Downes and tie the game. Taylor ripped a single to left to move Irving to third, and Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) bunted his way on to bring Irving home. Bruno then cranked a double to left-center, scoring both runners to give UVa a 4-1 lead.
The Cavaliers added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, while taking advantage of a High Point error. With one out Downes lifted a fly ball to center, which McDermott initially broke back on and then came in, and he dropped the ball while running in for a three-base error. Irving lined a double just inside first base and down the right-field line to plate Downes. Werman reached on an infield single, moving Irving to third, and a passed ball allowed Irving to cross the plate for a 6-1 UVa advantage.
High Point got a run back in the fifth inning when Scott Glover swatted a pinch-hit home run off the facade of the right-field bleachers against Halley.
UVa blew the game open by sending 10 batters to the plate in a six-run seventh inning, with three High Point errors and a passed ball aiding the cause. Fisher and Taylor each hit two-run singles in the inning.
HPU added a run in the eighth on a Ryne Rush sacrifice fly.
Virginia holds its final ACC home series of the year this weekend when it entertains Georgia Tech for three games. The series begins at 6 p.m. Friday, with 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday games to follow.
On Sunday the men’s lacrosse team will face Princeton in a first-round NCAA tournament game at 1 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. There is a $5 parking fee for all postseason events. As a result, there will be a $5 charge for all parking in the University Hall and John Paul Jones Arena lots on Sunday. This charge applies to baseball and men’s lacrosse fans. Free parking will be available in the Emmet/Ivy Garage on Sunday.