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April 2, 2013

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LYNCHBURG, Va.– Four Virginia pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout as the fourth-ranked Cavaliers’ baseball team picked up a 2-0 road win over Liberty Tuesday evening in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,543 at the new Liberty Baseball Stadium. Virginia (26-3) recorded its NCAA-best seventh shutout of the season.

UVa pitchers allowed just three baserunners, with two coming on errors, and combined for 14 strikeouts and no walks. In his second career start, Josh Sborz (Fr., McLean, Va.) set career highs with four innings pitched as well as five strikeouts. Sborz (3-0) allowed just two baserunners, on a double and an error, as he picked up the win. Kyle Crockett(Jr., Poquoson, Va.) pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his third save.

Nathan Kirby (Fr., Midlothian, Va.) fanned a career-best six batters in 3 1/3 hitless innings of relief. Austin Young(Jr., Mechanicsville, Va.) picked up two quick outs to end the eighth inning to lower his ERA to 0.93 this year. The bullpen has allowed only one run over its last 40 1/3 innings of work.

Liberty starter Josh Richardson (1-2) worked four innings, giving up two earned runs, three hits and two walks while striking out four. Flames closer Ashton Perritt was brilliant in pitching five perfect innings to keep the game in reach for Liberty (17-12).

The teams combined for just four hits and there were only nine baserunners in the game – five coming in the Cavaliers’ half of the first inning. After UVa’s Kenny Towns(So., Burke, Va.) hit a leadoff single in the fourth inning, the final 18 Cavaliers were set down in order. Liberty’s Trey Wimmer had the lone hit for the Flames, a leadoff double in the second inning.

Virginia scored the game’s lone runs in the first inning while sending eight batters to the plate. Jared King (R-Sr., Radford, Va.) singled with one out and Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and after Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) struck out, Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) was issued an intentional walk. Towns then was hit by a pitch to force in a run, and Nick Howard(So., Olney, Md.) beat out an infield single to score McCarthy and push the lead to 2-0.

Liberty’s main scoring threat came in the second inning. Wimmer lined a double down the left-field line to lead off the inning. He moved to third on a flyout to right by Ryan Cordell, but was stranded there when Sborz struck out Danny Grauer and Dalton Britt to end the inning.

The Flames put Wimmer on second with one out in the seventh on a two-base throwing error by Kirby on a routine grounder back to the mound, but he bounced back by getting a pair of short fly outs to wrap up the inning.

Virginia returns home at 6 p.m. Wednesday to take on VMI on Military Appreciation Night at Davenport Field.

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