March 25, 2015
March 25, 2015
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Virginia baseball team knocked off Liberty, 10-7, Wednesday afternoon in front of a Liberty Baseball Stadium record crowd of 2,841 in Lynchburg, Va. The game was the first of a five-game road swing for the 14th-ranked Cavaliers (15-8), who racked up a season-high 15 hits in snapping their three-game losing streak.
Adam Haseley (Fr., Windermere, Fla.) and Daniel Pinero (So., Toronto, Ontario) each recorded three hits, with Pinero reaching base five times. Matt Thaiss (So., Jackson, N.J.) and Kenny Towns (Sr., Burke, Va.) each picked up a pair of hits. The quartet, which made up the one through four spots in the batting order, combined to go 10-for-17 with seven runs and seven RBI. Towns drove in four.
Virginia starting pitcher Derek Casey (Fr., Mechanicsville, Va.) worked a career-long 4 2/3 innings, giving up four earned runs, four hits and two walks while striking out four. Casey earned his first college win and upped his record to 1-1. Liberty starter Michael Stafford (2-2) was tagged for eight runs (seven earned) and 11 hits in three-plus innings. He struck out two and walked two in taking the loss.
Virginia scored in the opening inning. Haseley led off with a single and moved around to third when a Pinero sac bunt was thrown away. A walk to Thaiss loaded the bases, and Towns hit a sac fly to center to score the run.
UVa scored two runs in a three-pitch outburst during the third inning. With one out Pinero and Thaiss hit back-to-back singles to left field. Towns cranked the next pitch into the left-field corner, scoring both runners to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 edge.
The Cavaliers sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run, six-hit fourth inning. UVa methodically chipped away, going base-to-base in scoring the first four runs. After loading the bases with none out, UVa scored when Pinero singled to right to bring in Kevin Doherty (Jr., Laytonsville, Md.). Thaiss then blooped a single to right-center, scoring Christian Lowry (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) and knocking Stafford from the game. Facing reliever Zach Clifton, Towns singled to left to score Haseley, and Pavin Smith (Fr., Jupiter, Fla.) hit a sac fly to center. With two outs, Ernie Clement (Fr., Rochester, N.Y.) singled to center to score two runs and push the lead to 9-0.
Liberty (14-10) answered with two runs in its half of the fourth. With one out, Alex Close and Dalton Britt hit back-to-back doubles. Becker Sankey then blooped a single to right-center to score Britt and cut the lead to 9-2. After Casey loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning on a pair of walks as well as a hit batsman, Rosenberger entered the game and gave up a two-run single to right from Close to shave the lead to five, 9-4.
The Cavaliers scored a run in the seventh when Pinero ripped a single to left to bring in Doherty, but Liberty countered with an RBI single from Ashton Perritt and a sac fly from Britt in its half of the inning to pull within 10-6. The Flames got their final run on a long, leadoff solo home run to left field from Perritt in the ninth inning.
Virginia heads to Notre Dame Friday through Sunday in the programs’ first series as ACC rivals. Game 1 is slated for 6:05 p.m. Friday at Frank Eck Stadium; a live video broadcast will be available on ESPN3, while WINA 1070-AM and VirginiaSports.com will have the live audio broadcast.