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Feb. 27, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 19 Virginia baseball team moved to 8-0 on the season with an 11-0 win over George Washington Wednesday at Davenport Field. UVa freshman starting pitcher Trey Oest (Dover, Fla.) went five innings to earn his second straight victory, and the offense piled up 15 hits.

Virginia pitchers gave up just four hits in recording the Cavaliers’ third shutout of 2013, all coming in the last four games. Oest (2-0) allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out a pair. The bullpen trio of Josh Sborz (Fr., McLean, Va.), Kyle Crockett (Jr., Poquoson, Va.) and Austin Young (Jr., Mechanicsville, Va.) scattered two hits and a walk over the final four innings.

With Oest’s five scoreless innings, Virginia starting pitchers have gone 34 1/3 straight scoreless innings, including each of the last six games.

GW starter Max Kaplow (0-2) pitched three scoreless innings before the Cavaliers knocked him from the game in the fourth. In 3 1/3 innings he allowed four runs (three earned), five hits and two walks while striking out one.

Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) homered and scored three times as part of a 3-for-5 day for Virginia. Branden Cogswell (So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.), Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) and Nick Howard (So., Olney, Md.) each recorded a pair of hits.

Virginia broke into the scoring column in the fourth inning with four runs. Downes led off with a towering home run into the trees in left-center field, his third of the year. Kenny Towns (So., Burke, Va.) reached on a three-base error by center fielder Ryan Hickey and scored when McCarthy singled to left-center. Two batters later, with runners on first and second, Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.) and Cogswell hit consecutive RBI singles to push the lead to 4-0 and prompt a pitching change.

UVa took advantage of a leadoff error on a Howard grounder to third to add a sixth-inning run. Howard stole second, advanced on a Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.) groundout and scored on an Irving squeeze bunt.

GW threatened to break up the shutout in the seventh inning, loading the bases with one out against Crockett after a pair of Cavalier errors. The errors broke a streak of 42 2/3 consecutive errorless innings by the Virginia defense. Crockett buckled down and induced Hickey to ground to Howard, who started a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Cavaliers added a run in the seventh by stringing together four straight two-out infield singles, with the fourth, a grounder in the hole to shortstop by Howard, scoring Downes.

Virginia blew the game open with a five-run eighth inning. With one out the Cavaliers recorded five straight hits, and all five baserunners eventually came around to score. Downes and pinch-hitter Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) hit back-to-back singles and both scored when Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.) scorched a triple down the right-field line. Downes singled Fisher home, and pinch-hitter John LaPrise (Fr., Exton, Pa.) singled. Both scored on a double by Howard.

The Cavaliers are home this weekend for a round robin tournament with Bucknell and Harvard. All three teams will play four games. UVa will play Harvard at 4 p.m. Friday, Bucknell at noon Saturday, Harvard at 3 p.m. Saturday and Bucknell at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Bison and Crimson will play at noon Friday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

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