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March 29, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The fifth-ranked Virginia baseball team blew open a close game with Miami with a nine-run eighth inning in a 15-4 victory over the Hurricanes Friday night at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers (24-2, 8-2 ACC) recorded their eighth straight win and their fifth consecutive ACC victory.

Virginia recorded 16 hits in the win, with six players racking up multiple hits. Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) went 4-for-4 with three doubles as he continued his torrid stretch at the plate; he has 18 hits in his last 26 at bats. Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) went 2-for-4 with a homer and five RBI, while Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.) posted two hits and four RBI.

The Cavaliers’ bullpen stepped up once again, firing six scoreless innings and allowing just three hits and a walk. Austin Young (Jr., Mechanicsville, Va.) worked a career-long 3 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits and a walk as he earned his third straight win to improve to 3-0.

Miami starting pitcher Chris Diaz (3-2) took the defeat after allowing six runs (five earned) and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. UVa starter Brandon Waddell (Fr., Houston, Texas) struggled with his control and went three-plus innings, giving up four runs (three earned), five hits and three walks while striking out one.

The game was close throughout until Virginia scored a season-high nine runs against three Miami hurlers in the eighth inning. UVa put up six hits in the inning while sending 13 batters to the plate. UVa scored on a Gragnani fielder’s choice and Branden Cogswell (So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) single and then blew the game open when Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) hit a rocket off the right-field wall for a two-run double and Downes followed with a three-run homer off the façade of the left-field bleachers. It was Downes’ team-leading fifth home run of the year. UVa added a pair of runs later in the inning on a two-run single by Gragnani.

Both teams scored a run in the first inning. Miami got a two-out RBI single from Brad Fieger, and UVa quickly responded in the bottom of the frame when Cogswell tripled to lead off and then scored on a Jared King (R-Sr., Radford, Va.) groundout.

Virginia forged ahead with a three-run third inning. King and McCarthy hit back-to-back one-out singles, and Downes followed with a two-run double down the left-field line. One out later Papi ripped a double to right field to plate Downes.

Miami scored three times in the fourth inning without the benefit of the hit. Waddell hit the leadoff batter, then walked the next three to force in a run. Young entered the game and struck out Ricky Eusebio, then got Alex Hernandez to hit a grounder to shortstop. UVa picked up the force out at second, but Gragnani’s throw to first was errant, with two runs scoring on the play to tie the game.

Virginia quickly responded with a run in its half of the fourth, taking advantage of a Miami error. Gragnani reached on a fielding error to lead off, was sacrificed to second by Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.) and then scored with two outs on a King single.

The Cavaliers tacked on a run in the sixth inning to move ahead 6-4, getting a leadoff double from Papi and a one-out RBI single from Gragnani.

The teams play game two of the series at 1 p.m. Saturday. The contest will be televised live by the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (Comcast Mid-Atlantic in the Charlottesville area); the broadcast also will be streamed online via ESPN3. The RSN affiliates for this broadcast are FS South, FS Florida, CSN Mid-Atlantic, FS Arizona, FS Detroit and FS Prime Ticket.

The radio broadcast will air locally on WINA 1070-AM, while live statistics (GameTracker) also will be available at

Free parking will be available in the University Hall, John Paul Jones Arena and McCue parking lots as well as the Emmet/Ivy Garage.

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