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March 30, 2014

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The second-ranked Virginia baseball team finished off a three-game ACC series sweep of Virginia Tech with a 7-4 victory Sunday afternoon at a blustery Davenport Field. Virginia (23-4, 10-2 ACC) scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good en route to its seventh series win over Virginia Tech (12-12-1, 5-7) in nine tries since the Hokies entered the ACC.

Mike Papi (Jr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) went 2-for-4 with the game-tying RBI in the seventh inning; he was 6-for-10 in the series. Joe McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) hit a two-run triple and finished the series 5-for-11 with seven RBI.

UVa reliever Whit Mayberry (R-Sr., Alexandria, Va.) earned his second win of the weekend and improved to 3-1 with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Nick Howard (Jr., Olney, Md.) worked the ninth for his eighth save in as many tries. Virginia Tech reliever Sean Kennedy (1-1) took the loss after failing to retire any of the three batters he faced in the seventh inning; all three came around to score (one earned).

Virginia starting pitcher Brandon Waddell (So., Houston, Texas) worked 6 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, six hits and no walks while striking out five. Virginia Tech starter Jon Woodcock pitched five innings, giving up three runs (two earned), three hits and four walks while striking out four.

Virginia jumped ahead quickly with a pair of first-inning runs when McCarthy launched a high fly ball into the wind blowing out to right-center field; the ball carried and bounced off the wall for a triple, scoring Papi and Brandon Downes (Jr., South Plainfield, N.J.).

UVa tacked on a run in the third as Papi led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on catcher Mark Zagunis’ throwing error and scored on a Downes groundout to shortstop.

Virginia Tech used timely two-out hitting to score a pair of fourth-inning runs. With two outs and Alex Perez on third base, Sean Keselica blooped a single that landed inches inside the left-field chalk to score a run. After Phil Sciretta singled to left-center to move Keselica around to third, Kyle Wernicki laid down a bunt single to bring in the second run.

The Hokies took the lead with two runs in the seventh inning. With one out Ricky Surum singled off Waddell. Mayberry gave up a two-out single to Saige Jenco followed by a run-scoring single by Perez, and when the ball rolled under the glove of a charging Downes in center, Jenco came all the way around to score and give Virginia Tech a 4-3 advantage.

Virginia immediately grabbed the lead back in its half of the seventh, scoring four times and sending 10 batters to the plate despite only registering two hits. Cogswell led off with a single and Howard walked. After twice failing to get a bunt down, Papi lined the next pitch to left-center to plate Cogswell and tie the game.

Luke Scherzer came in to pitch and after Zagunis committed a passed ball to put runners at second and third, Downes popped out to short right. McCarthy was intentionally walked, and Papi was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to third by Robbie Coman (So., Lake Worth, Fla.). Nate Irving (Jr., Yonkers, N.Y.) grounded to third but it was booted by Matt Dauby to allow the go-ahead run to score. Scherzer then plunked Kenny Towns (Jr., Burke, Va.) and Tony Butler (Fr., Sun Prairie, Wis.) with consecutive pitches, with each forcing home a run.

Virginia Tech threatened in the ninth inning by putting runners at the corners with two outs, but Howard got Zagunis to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

Virginia has a busy week ahead, with five games on the docket. The Cavaliers play host to a pair of midweek games, taking on Old Dominion Tuesday and George Washington Wednesday. Both games start at 5 p.m. UVa travels to Pittsburgh next weekend for a three-game series with the Panthers, who have won six straight ACC home games over the last two weeks and currently boast an 18-game home winning streak.

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