Virginia Defeats Longwood, 9-4
April 13, 2016
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Ã¢â‚¬” The Virginia baseball team opened a six-game homestand Wednesday with a 9-4 win over Longwood at Davenport Field. Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) had a pair of hits and scored three runs.
“It was a big game for everybody to play a good baseball game coming off a weekend where we only won one ballgame and going into the North Carolina series,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “In particular, some of our veterans stepped up and played well. Matt Thaiss had a good day and Danny Pinero’s play (in the fifth inning) was pivotal. He played very well tonight.”
UVA reliever Tyler Shambora (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) worked two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and improve to 3-0 on the year. Longwood starter Devin Gould (1-1) pitched 3 1/3 innings and took the loss. He allowed five runs (four earned), five hits and three walks while striking out a pair. Virginia starter Daniel Lynch (Fr., Henrico, Va.) worked to three batters in the fifth inning. In four-plus innings, he gave up three earned runs, seven hits and a walk while striking out one.
Virginia quickly scored in the first inning as Clement lined a one-out single to center, then stole second and third base before coming home on a Thaiss RBI single. Longwood knotted the score in the third on a one-out single by Connar Bastaich, which plated Sammy Miller.
UVA forged ahead with a five-run fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate while also benefitting from three Longwood errors. With one out and runners at first and second, Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) lined a double to left field to plate Nate Eikhoff (Fr., Bristow, Va.), and when the ball bounced off the heel of left fielder Hayes Nelson’s glove, Ryan Karstetter (Fr., State College, Pa.) also scored. Justin Novak (So., Tokyo, Japan) reached on an infield single, with Karstetter scoring as the ball was thrown errantly past first base. One out later, Clement reached on a fielding error, with Novak hustling around to score. After singles from Thaiss and Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) loaded the bases, Daniel Pinero (Jr., Toronto, Ontario) drew a walk to give UVA a 6-1 edge.
Longwood scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning to knock Lynch from the game, with Shambora getting three straight outs after coming in from the bullpen with runners on the corners. The first out was especially key, as Pinero ranged out to short left field on a pop fly from Bastaich and made an over-the-shoulder, barehanded catch to save a bloop hit and further damage.
Virginia doubled its lead in the sixth inning, scoring three runs to take a 9-3 advantage. Errors again played a big role as two Longwood miscues led to a pair of unearned runs. UVA’s first four batters reached base. Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a hit-and-run single from Clement. Facing reliever Steven Farkas, Thaiss singled in a run. Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) then hit a grounder that third baseman Brandon Harvell booted, allowing Clement to come around to score. One out later, with the bases loaded, Karstetter hit a slow grounder that brought Thaiss home.
Longwood scored the game’s final run with two outs in the ninth inning on an RBI single from Bastaich.
Virginia plays host to No. 13 North Carolina Friday through Sunday (April 15-17) in a three-game ACC series at Davenport Field.