April 15, 2015
April 15, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team scored a 3-2 win over William and Mary Wednesday evening at Davenport Field. Kenny Towns (Sr., Burke, Va.) hit the tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning as UVa (22-14) won its ninth consecutive game against the Tribe (15-19).
Two key cogs in the Virginia lineup returned from injuries Wednesday: All-ACC outfielder Joe McCarthy (Jr., Scranton, Pa.) and freshman Jack Gerstenmaier (Richmond, Va.). McCarthy missed the Cavaliers’ first 35 games following back surgery in January, while Gerstenmaier made his UVa debut after suffering a severe hamstring injury in September. Both were key factors Tuesday as they combined for half of UVa’s 10 hits: Gerstenmaier went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while McCarthy was 2-for-3.
“That was a really fun baseball game. I was really proud of how our guys competed,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “We had 10 hits, but there were a lot of other balls there were squared up pretty well. It was really good to see Derek Casey – he would bend but he wouldn’t break. That’s somebody who is really maturing and that’s certainly a real positive. Having Joe McCarthy and Jack Gerstenmaier playing tonight for the first time this season and for them to perform, was really cool. A lot of times you have a guy come back after not playing for a while, and they’re a little rusty and they struggle, but they both were aggressive, which was good to see and very encouraging.”
Virginia got a strong start from rookie Derek Casey (Mechanicsville, Va.), who worked six innings of two-run baseball, giving up five hits and no walks while striking out four. UVa relievers Alec Bettinger (So., Woodbridge, Va.) and Josh Sborz (Jr., McLean, Va.) combined to pitch three perfect innings as the Cavaliers retired the final 12 William & Mary batters in order. Bettinger (3-1) fired two frames to earn the win, while Sborz pitched the ninth and notched his ninth save.
In addition to Gerstenmaier and McCarthy’s big days, Towns homered and drove in a pair of runs.
William and Mary reliever Charlie Fletcher (3-1) took the loss, while starter Mitchell Aker worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, eight hits and a walk while fanning four. Cullen Large and Ryan Hissey each went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Tribe.
William & Mary opened the scoring with a run in the third inning. Large hit a two-out single and came around to score on a double to left-center by Hissey.
UVa scored twice in the fourth inning. Towns swatted a leadoff home run to left-center, his third blast of the season. McCarthy then singled, moved to second on a Kevin Doherty (Jr., Laytonsville, Md.) sacrifice and scored on a Gerstenmaier single to left.
The Tribe again struck with two outs in the fifth. Casey hit Luca Farina with a pitch and then was called for a balk, moving the runner to second. Large followed with a run-scoring single to left.
UVa manufactured the eventual winning run in the seventh. Daniel Pinero (So., Toronto, Ontario) hit a leadoff single up the middle and with one out, he advanced to second on a balk and to third on a wild pitch. With the infield pulled in, Towns ripped a single back up the middle to give UVa the lead.
Virginia remains home this weekend as No. 9 Miami visits Davenport Field for a three-game series beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. The teams also are slated to play at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.