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Feb. 18, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.Trey Oest (Fr., Dover, Fla.) pitched six shutout innings in his college debut and Brandon Downes(So., South Plainfield, N.J.) went 3-for-4 with a home run as the No. 25 Virginia baseball team defeated Saint Peter’s, 9-1, Monday afternoon in the Cavaliers’ home opener at Davenport Field.

“I thought our team came out and played well today,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “It was Saint Peter’s first game today and I knew we were going to face their best pitching and it was a really good ballgame until we opened it up late. Trey Oestwas outstanding. It was his first collegiate start, and obviously that is a lot of pressure to put on a young man. He certainly responded. I thought he was in complete command.”

Oest (1-0) allowed just a hit and a walk and had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings. He did not allow a baserunner until a leadoff walk in the fifth inning and saw his no-hit bid come to an end with two outs in the sixth on a clean single to right by Matt Mancini. Oest and fellow rookie hurlers Cameron Tekker (Waxhaw, N.C.) and David Rosenberger(Bethlehem, Pa.) combined to allow just four hits and two walks in the win.

Saint Peter’s starter Zack Hopf (0-1) worked six strong innings, allowing three runs (one earned), five hits and three walks in absorbing the loss. He struck out five.

Branden Cogswell(So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) went 3-for-4 and scored twice for the Cavaliers (3-0). Matt Speckmann had two of the four hits for Saint Peter’s (0-1).

Virginia drew first blood with an unearned run in the opening inning, taking an advantage of a one-out error by Hopf. With two out and runners on the corners, Cogswell and Derek Fisher(So., Rexmont, Pa.) combined for a double steal, with Cogswell swiping home as Fisher stole second.

UVa added a run in the fourth inning, this time benefiting from a pair of Peacock errors when Cogswell bounced a two-out single through the right side of the infield and into right field, scoring Reed Gragnani(Sr., Richmond, Va.), who walked with two outs.

The Cavaliers tacked on a run in the fifth when Downes homered into the left-field bleachers. The solo blast was his first long ball of the year and his second career blast.

Saint Peter’s broke up the shutout in the seventh inning against Tekker, who issued a leadoff walk to James Smith and one out later gave up a single off the right-center field wall to Speckmann. Matt Schroeder then singled to center to score Smith. An overthrow allowed both runners to advance, but Tekker battled out of the one-out jam to hold the Peacocks to just one run.

Virginia responded with three runs in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Eric Mozeika. With one out and runners on second and third, Howard lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. Gragnani then tripled into the right-field corner to score Joe McCarthy(Fr., Scranton, Pa.).

The Cavaliers put the game out of reach by batting around in a 3-run eighth inning. With one out, Fisher singled to score Cogswell, who had singled and stolen second to start the inning. Fisher stole second and Downes walked. McCarthy followed with a run-scoring single and one batter later, Howard hit his second sac fly in as many innings.

Virginia continues its 15-game homestand at 3 p.m. Tuesday when it welcomes William and Mary to Davenport Field.

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