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May 11, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– The seventh-ranked Virginia baseball team pounded out a season-high 22 hits in a 17-8 defeat of Duke Saturday afternoon in front of 4,040 spectators at Davenport Field. In clinching its seventh ACC series win in nine tries, Virginia (41-8, 19-7) recorded the most hits of any ACC team in conference play this year while also scoring the program’s most runs since April 29, 2011, at Boston College.

Virginia goes for the series sweep at 1 p.m. Sunday. Senior Day ceremonies will be held prior to the Sunday contest at 12:30 p.m.; UVa will honor six fourth- and fifth-year student-athletes as well as a manager Taylor Myers.

The 22-hit barrage was Virginia’s most hits in a game since the Cavaliers racked up 28 hits in a 27-4 victory at Maryland on April 23, 2010.

Eleven Virginia batters recorded hits, including all nine starters. Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) went 4-for-4, scored three times and drove in four as he upped his NCAA-best on base percentage to .545. Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.), Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.), Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) and Kenny Towns(So., Burke, Va.) each had three hits.

UVa starting pitcher Scott Silverstein(R-Sr., Olney, Md.) went five innings to earn the win and improve to 8-1 on the year. He allowed six earned runs, seven hits and three walks while fanning three. Four Cavalier relievers worked an inning each to seal the win.

Duke starter Michael Matuella (4-3) was tagged with the defeat after giving up seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Virginia scored in each of the first five innings and six of its eight trips to the plate. UVa eclipsed its season high for hits in a game in just four innings, racking up 18 to take a commanding 15-1 lead.

Virginia pounced quickly for a first-inning run. Papi hit the first pitch for a single to right. One out later McCarthy singled off the glove of second baseman Andy Perez. Downes followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

Duke (25-25, 9-17) knotted the score in the second inning. Jordan Betts and Chris Marconcini hit back-to-back singles to start the frame, and one out later Kenny Koplove drew a four-pitch walk. Andrew Istler then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Betts.

UVa responded with a run in its half of the second, with all the damage coming after two were out. Towns singled to left and Nate Irving(So., Yonkers, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch. Papi then hit a high chopper to Perez and beat the throw to first for a single, and Towns scampered home as the late throw to first was errant.

The Cavaliers batted around in the third, scoring five times on six hits. McCarthy and Downes hit consecutive singles to start the inning and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.). Nick Howard(So., Olney, Md.) hit a sacrifice fly to score McCarthy, and Gragnani followed with a run-scoring single. Towns followed with a booming triple to center field to bring Gragnani home, and Irving singled in Towns. Papi then tripled to right-center, bringing Irving in to push the lead to 7-1 and end the day for Matuella.

UVa poured it on in the fourth inning, scoring eight times on eight hits while 12 men batted. McCarthy led off with a double and scored one out later on a Fisher double. A Howard single advanced Fisher to third, and Gragnani scored both runners with a double to left-center. Towns singled to center to move Gragnani to third. Irving then lined to Perez, who dropped the ball for an error, allowing a run to score. Papi followed with a double to right-center to plate Towns and push the lead to 12-1. King singled to bring in Irving. With two outs Downes lined a single to right to score Papi and King came all the way around to score when the ball went under the glove of right fielder Jeff Kremer for a two-base error.

Duke made a dent in the lead by sending 10 batters to the plate in a five-run fifth inning, with all the runs coming after two were out. Silverstein had a runner at first with two outs when he hit Mark Lumpa with a pitch. The Blue Devils then hit five consecutive singles, highlighted by a two-run knock from Grant McCabe.

UVa pushed the lead back to double digits with a run in its half of the fifth inning on a Papi sacrifice fly and added a final tally in the eighth on a Thomas Woodruff(So., Clifton, Va.) groundout to bring in Papi.

Duke scored a pair of ninth-inning runs against reliever Nathaniel Abel (So., Haymarket, Va.) on an RBI triple by David Perkins and an Al Morris sac fly.

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