Virginia Rolls to 20-7 Defeat of Wagner
March 9, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The No. 10 Virginia baseball team rolled to a 20-7 victory over Wagner Wednesday afternoon at Davenport Field. Virginia (9-4) scored its most runs since a 27-run performance at Maryland on April 23, 2010, and racked up 20 hits, its most since a 22-hit game against Duke on May 11, 2013.
“I thought our guys did a nice job of capitalizing on opportunities,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “We were able to take advantage of those rallies, sometimes on their mistakes and some that we earned. I’m glad we were able to pitch seven guys tonight and get a look at them.”
Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) matched a career high with four hits while every UVA starter scored. Nate Eikhoff (Fr., Bristow, Va.) and Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) each had three hits, while Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) and Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) each homered and drove in four runs. Nate Eikhoff (Fr., Bristow, Va.) and Ryan Karstetter (Fr., Port Matilda, Pa.) also recorded three hits apiece.
David Rosenberger (Sr., Bethlehem, Pa.) worked 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and improve to 1-0 on the year. Making his first college appearance, Connor Eason (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) earned the start and worked two-thirds of an inning, allowing a pair of runs, two hits and a walk. Wagner starter Neil Abbatiello (0-1) took the defeat after allowing four earned runs, two hits and four walks.
Virginia’s defense also turned four double plays in the victory.
Wagner jumped to an early 2-0 lead. After the Seahawks loaded the bases with none out in the opening inning against Eason, Anthony Harrold grounded into a double play to score Nick Mascelli. After Eason issued a walk to Anthony Godino, Phil Capra lined a single to left to plate Trey Nicosia.
UVA countered with a run in its half of the first. After Abbatiello walked the bases loaded to start the inning, Smith hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring Haseley home.
The Cavaliers grabbed the lead in the third inning. With one out, Haseley scored on a wild pitch. Moments later, Smith launched a two-run home run just over the right-field wall for his second homer of the season.
UVA added a run in the fourth on Haseley’s two-out RBI double to bring home Simmons and scored four more in the fifth, capped by a long three-run home run into the trees in left field by Simmons. It was the freshman’s second home of the season.
Wagner responded by batting around and scoring five runs against UVA pitchers Grant Donahue (Fr., Berlin, Md.) and Bennett Sousa (So., North Palm Beach, Fla.) in the sixth inning. With one out, five straight Seahawk batters reached base safely. Wagner loaded the bases against Donahue before Sousa entered and walked Mascelli to force in a run. Nicosia followed with a two-run double. After Ruta hit a sacrifice fly, Harrold sharply singled off the glove of Eikhoff at third base to score a run and pull Wagner to within two, 9-7.
Virginia scored three runs in its half of the sixth to get some breathing room again. With two outs, Karstetter grounded in the hole at shortstop for a single to score Haseley. Eikhoff followed with a two-run double to left-center to give UVA a five-run cushion, 12-7.
UVA added some insurance in the eighth inning by send 12 batters to the plate and tacking on eight runs as well as eight hits. It marked the fourth time in 13 games this season that UVA has batted around in an inning. With one out, eight straight Cavaliers reached base, with the big blow coming from pinch hitter Cameron Comer (Fr., Powell, Ohio), who ripped a three-run double.
Virginia begins its ACC schedule this weekend with a three-game series at Duke. Game 1 is slated for 4 p.m. Friday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.