No. 13 UVA Blows Past Rutgers, 18-2, to Sweep Series
Feb. 26, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The No. 13 Virginia baseball team exploded for 15 runs in the sixth and seventh innings in an 18-2 defeat of Rutgers Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field. Virginia (7-0) swept the three-game series, outscoring the Scarlet Knights (1-5) 37-9 in the process.
“I was very proud of our offensive ballclub and the adjustment that we made after the first half of the game,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Their starter was doing a nice job of changing speeds, throwing his fastball on the outer part of the plate and throwing a nice changeup. Starting in the sixth inning, I thought we made a nice adjustment from an offensive standpoint and certainly put up a lot of good at bats.
“Adam Haseley was really great today. That looked like the Adam Haseley who pitched so well for us last year and won nine games. We played really good infield defense again today and throughout the series. In our league, if you don’t throw strikes, pitch well and play good defense, it’s tough to win. We did that this weekend, so there are a lot of positives that came out of this series.”
Virginia needed just 11 hits to score its 18 runs, taking advantage of 11 free passes (seven walks, four HBP) and three Rutgers errors. Ernie Clement (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.) went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBI, while Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.) homered for the third time in the series in a 2-for-3, four-RBI day. Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) scored three times and stole a pair of bases, finishing with six steals in the series.
Virginia’s pitching staff combined on a three-hitter. Starter Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) worked seven strong innings, giving up two runs and three hits while striking out six. He earned the win for his first decision of the year. Jack Roberts (Sr., Richmond, Va.) and Riley Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) combined to retire Rutgers in order over the final two innings.
Rutgers starter James Torres (0-1) worked five-plus innings, giving up five earned runs, three hits and five walks while striking out three.
Virginia jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, using the running game to get their first score. McCarthy drew a leadoff walk, then stole second and moved to third on a Clement groundout. After Haseley walked, he and McCarthy combined on a double steal, with McCarthy swiping home. Haseley moved around to third on the play on a throwing error by catcher Chris Folinusz and scored on a two-out single by Coman.
Rutgers used a pair of long balls to knot the score, as Nick Matera and Jawuan Harris cranked solo blasts in the second and third innings, respectively. UVA used one of its own to retake the lead for good, as Clement ripped a solo shot into the left-field bleachers in the bottom of the third.
After being limited to two hits in the first five innings, Virginia blew the game open by sending a dozen batters to the plate in an eight-run sixth inning. Coman knocked Torres from the game with a two-run home run to left field. UVA then scored six runs (two earned) against reliever Max Herrmann. After a pair of Rutgers errors, Charlie Cody (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) brought both runners home with a double to left. UVA then loaded the bases, with Clement bringing two runs home with a single to left. One out later, Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) and Coman hit back-to-back sacrifice flies.
UVA scored seven more runs in the seventh inning, again sending 12 batters to the plate against three Rutgers pitchers. The Cavaliers had five hits in the inning, including a two-run double from Simmons.
Virginia continues its nine-game homestand at 3 p.m. Tuesday when it plays William & Mary in a rematch from the 2016 NCAA Charlottesville Regional.