No. 4 Virginia Defeats VMI, 18-1
Feb. 23, 2016
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Ã¢â‚¬” The Virginia baseball team opened its 2016 home schedule Tuesday afternoon with an 18-1 victory over VMI (2-3) at Davenport Field. Ranked as high as fourth nationally, the Cavaliers (3-1) scored 11 runs in the third inning to blow the game open early as they opened a 10-game homestand.
Virginia posted its highest-scoring game since a 19-run performance against Towson on March 28, 2012 and its largest margin of victory since a 17-0 win at Boston College on April 29, 2011. The Cavaliers scored 11 runs in the third inning, most in a single inning in Davenport Field history.
“I’m glad we got our home opener in, and I thank all the fans that came out today because of the adjusted schedule and certainly the weather,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I was really proud of our guys. I thought there were certainly a lot of guys that swung the bat well. I liked the pitching that we got. We had a lot of guys working out there. I thought we played a very, very good baseball game.
“It’s great to be at home. I think our facility looks tremendous and we are excited to play a bunch of home games this year. Certainly the game there in the third inning got out of hand a little bit. But VMI beat us here last year in our ballpark. So certainly our guys came ready to play and certainly the results showed that.”
Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) hit his first college grand slam as part of a career-high six-RBI day. Jake McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) added three hits as UVA piled up 18 hits, with McCarthy and his fellow freshmen accounting for 11. Twenty Cavaliers saw action in the big win.
Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) started on the mound for UVA and earned the win with 2 2/3 hitless innings. He improved to 1-0 on the year as he gave up just one walk while fanning five. Robbie Coman (Sr., Lake Worth, Fla.) made his first pitching appearance at UVA, working 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Haseley.
Virginia started fast with a pair of first-inning runs as Smith hit a two-out RBI double to score Haseley and Daniel Pinero (Jr., Toronto, Ontario) followed with an RBI single.
UVA blew the game open by scoring 11 runs in the third inning, the Cavaliers’ first double-digit scoring inning since March 25, 2011, against Maryland and the highest-scoring inning in O’Connor’s 13-year tenure at Virginia. UVA sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning.
UVA’s first run came on a Smith sacrifice fly for the inning’s first out. After Pinero grounded out to put runners on second and third base, the next eight Cavaliers reached base safely. Four straight freshmen recorded RBI hits to start the stretch, with McCarthy hitting a two-run single, Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.) cracking an RBI single, Doak Dozier (Fort Worth, Texas) cranking a two-run double and Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) stroking a run-scoring single. One batter later, Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) hit an RBI single and after Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) walked to load the bases, Smith capped the inning by driving a grand slam into the top row of bleachers in right field. It was his first career grand slam.
Virginia tacked on three runs in the fourth inning. McCarthy led off with a single and later scored on a wild pitch. Weber tripled into the right-field corner to plate Dozier and then scored on a Ryan Karstetter (Fr., State College, Pa.) grounder.
Neither team scored again until the eighth. VMI plated its lone run on a David Geary sacrifice fly. UVA countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI groundouts from Karstetter and Justin Novak (So., Tokyo, Japan), scoring Jack Gerstenmaier (So., Richmond, Va.) and Cameron Comer (Fr., Powell, Ohio), respectively.
Virginia plays East Carolina in a three-game series this weekend at Davenport Field. The teams will face off at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.