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March 3, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 19 Virginia baseball team upped its record to 12-0 with a 9-1 victory over Bucknell Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers swept through their four games over the weekend, winning two games each over Bucknell and Harvard.

“Overall it was a very good weekend of baseball for us,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Playing four games in a weekend presents some physical challenges and we showed that with some of our play defensively today, but overall I thought we played well. We had good pitching, played good defense and swung the bats well.”

Virginia starting pitcher Nick Howard (So., Olney, Md.) recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in six strong innings of work. Howard (2-0) gave up an earned run and five hits and did not walk a batter. In all, UVa pitchers struck out 16; Kyle Crockett (Jr., Poquoson, Va.) fanned four in two scoreless innings, while Kevin Doherty (Fr., Laytonsville, Md.) struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning.

UVa piled up 13 hits and had runners on base in every inning. Branden Cogswell (So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) wrapped up a fantastic weekend by going 2-for-2, driving in a pair and reaching base four times. He went 7-for-13, scored seven runs and reached base in 12 of his 18 plate appearances in the Cavaliers’ four games this weekend.

Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) added three hits for the Cavaliers.

Bucknell starter Xavier Hammond (0-2) took the loss after giving up five earned runs, six hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings.

Bucknell (1-9) drew first blood with a two-out rally in the first inning. Travis Clark hit a two-out single and Rob Krentzman followed with a run-scoring double to left-center.

The Cavaliers sent 10 batters to the plate in a four-run second inning. Kenny Towns (So., Burke, Va.) drew a leadoff walk and scored when Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) tripled to right-center field. Colin Harrington (R-Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) singled Papi home, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. One out later Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.) singled, and Cogswell cranked an RBI triple off the wall in right field, just missing his first career homer. Jared King (R-Sr., Radford, Va.) singled in Cogswell to give UVa a 4-1 edge.

Virginia added a run in the third on a two-out Irving single to score Papi. The Cavaliers plated three more in the fifth inning, getting an RBI double from Cogswell, a sacrifice fly from King and a booming RBI triple off the Blue Monster in center field from Downes.

UVa tacked on a final run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Towns to score Rob Bennie (Fr., Stroudsburg, Pa.).

Virginia returns to action at 4 p.m. Wednesday when it plays VMI at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers’ ACC-opening series is next weekend (March 8-10) when they entertain Maryland.

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