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April 17, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.Jared King (R-Sr., Radford, Va.) hit a walk-off single to score Branden Cogswell (So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) with two outs in the 10th inning to lift the No. 7 Virginia baseball team to a 10-9 triumph over Old Dominion Wednesday night at Davenport Field. Down 7-2 in the sixth inning, Virginia (32-6) rallied to score its 14th come-from-behind win of the season.

The Cavaliers used more heroics from Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) to get back into the game. He hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to tie the game 8-8, his second grand slam in the last 12 days. He cranked a two-out, ninth-inning grand slam April 6 at Wake Forest to rally UVa to a 7-6 win. It was his fifth home run of the year – four have tied games or provided the eventual winning runs.

After grounding into a double play in a tie game with runners on first and third and one out to end the ninth inning, Virginia used some two-out magic to win the game in the 10th. On a 2-2 pitch with two outs, Cogswell doubled down the left-field line. King went the other way with the next pitch, lofting a single to right to plate Cogswell with the winning score.

The game was not a masterpiece on either side. The Cavaliers committed three errors and a passed ball, leading to four unearned runs, and also gave up a season-high 16 hits. Old Dominion (18-18) also was credited with three errors, leading to a pair of unearned runs, including the game-tying run in the eighth inning. There also were three pickoffs in the game.

Kyle Crockett (Jr., Poquoson, Va.) worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win for Virginia and improve to 3-0. UVa used six pitchers in the game; starter Artie Lewicki (Jr., Wyckoff, N.J.) pitched the first inning and gave up a run, hit and two walks while on a strict pitch count.

Brad Gero (3-3) took the loss for ODU after giving up two runs (one earned), four hits and two walks over three innings. Starter Brett Harris worked three innings, giving up two runs (one earned), two hits and three walks while striking out one.

Virginia finished with 11 hits, with King and Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) each racking up three. Papi drove in a career-high five runs. Josh Eldridge went 4-for-6 to lead the ODU offense.

ODU jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, putting its first two runners on base before Josiah Burney hit a one-out grounder to score a run. UVa countered with two runs in its half of the first on an RBI groundout by Papi followed by a Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.) sacrifice fly.

The Monarchs scored two runs each in the third through fifth innings to take a 7-2 lead. ODU moved ahead in the third on a two-run homer to right field by Ben Slaton off UVa reliever Josh Sborz (Fr., McLean, then tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning on a Ben Verlander RBI double followed by an Eldridge run-scoring single. The Monarchs scored two more in the sixth off reliever Nathan Kirby (Fr., Midlothian, Va.), getting a one-out RBI single from Michael Perez and a run-scoring base hit from Connor Myers.

UVa started its comeback in the sixth inning. After Downes hit a leadoff double against reliever Tommy Alexander, Fisher and Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.) followed with RBI singles to pull UVa within 7-4.

ODU added a run in the seventh on a Verlander sacrifice fly, but UVa tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Brandon Smith issued consecutive walks to Cogswell and King to start the inning. One out later Downes singled sharply to center to load the bases. Papi then hit a 1-1 fastball into the bleachers in right-center field for a grand slam to knot the score at 8-8.

The Monarchs took a 9-8 lead in the eighth inning, as Eldridge hit a leadoff single against Whit Mayberry (R-Jr., Alexandria, Va.) and advanced on a passed ball. With two outs, P.J. Higgins slapped a single the other way down the right-field line off Crockett to score the run.

UVa tied the game again in its half of the eighth. With one out Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.) walked. After Cogswell singled, King struck out. Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) grounded deep in the hole at second, where Brian Bashara made a diving stop, but his flip to second was misplayed by shortstop Tyler Urps and when the ball trickled away, Irving hustled home from third to slide in safely with the tying score.

UVa remains at home this weekend for a three-game ACC series against No. 5 Florida State. Tickets are going fast, and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. As of Wednesday afternoon there were fewer than 400 tickets remaining for the Saturday and Sunday games and fewer than 1,000 left for the Friday contest.

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