Feb. 11, 2005
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The #27/#32 ranked University of Virginia baseball team dropped its season-opening contest to the UNC Wilmington Seahawks by the score of 5-2 at UNCW's Brooks Field. In game one of three-game non-conference series, the Seahawks jumped out to an early 2-0 and held off the Cavaliers for the remainder of the contest to come away with a three-run victory. Virginia trimmed UNC Wilmington's lead to one run twice, at 2-1 and 3-2, but couldn't manage to overcome the early deficit.
UNC Wilmington scored the first runs of the game and took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when the Seahawks' Kenny Smith singled through the left side before teammate Matt Poulk connected on a two-run home run to straight away center field. UNCW held onto its two-run lead and threatened to add to its total in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Seahawks loaded the bases. But the Cavaliers' defense prevailed and forced a groundout to end the inning to keep UVa to within two runs of UNCW.
In the top of the sixth inning, Virginia got on the scoreboard and made it a 2-1 contest. The Cavaliers' Matt Street led off the side with a single and Tom Hagan was hit by a pitch before both baserunners executed on a double steal to put runners at second and third with no outs. UVa's Ryan Zimmerman then drove in Virginia's first run of the game when he scored Street from third base with a fielder's choice to cut the Seahawks' lead in half.
UNC Wilmington came back and added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning and made it a 3-1 ballgame when Tim Preston singled and scored a run two batters later on a RBI-single by Chris Hatcher. But Virginia answered right back in the top of the seventh inning and made it a 3-2 contest when Kyle Werman led off the side with a single before scoring a run from third base three batters later on a RBI-single to left field by Hagan to make it 3-2.
However, leading by just one run in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Seahawks extended their advantage to 5-2 when Daniel Hargrave sent a two-run home run over the left-centerfield wall to give UNC Wilmington a three-run lead it would not relinquish. The Cavaliers made a late charge in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the tying run come to the plate, but were unable to score another run in the game.
UVa starting pitcher Matt Avery (0-1) took the loss but pitched 5.0 solid innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and struck out a game-high five batters. UNCW starting pitcher Zach Kimball (2-0) picked up the win after pitching 5.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits. The Seahawks' Jeff Moore picked up his first save of the season when he closed out the bottom of the ninth and struck out one.
With the loss, Virginia's record falls to 0-1 on the season. The victory improves UNC Wilmington's record to 3-0 on the season. UNCW now holds a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.
The Cavaliers and Seahawks will return to action on Saturday, February 12 to play the second contest of the three-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM at Brooks Field.
Note: Virginia newcomers Sean Doolittle and Mike Campagna saw their first action as Cavaliers. Doolittle pitched 2.0 innings and struck out three batters, including the first two he faced, while allowing two runs on two hits in relief duty. Campagna started at shortstop and went 0-for-4 at the plate.
-- UVa --
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Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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