Feb. 13, 2005
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The #27/#32 ranked University of Virginia baseball team defeated the UNC Wilmington Seahawks 7-4 in the third contest of a three-game weekend non-conference series at UNCW's Brooks Field. UVa's pitching staff combined to strike out 12 Seahawk batters and UVa first-year sensation Sean Doolittle paced the Cavaliers at the plate after he went 4-for-4 with two runs and one RBI in his first collegiate start to guide Virginia to the series claiming victory over UNC Wilmington. Doolittle also pitched 2.0 hitless innings in relief and struck out three batters for UVa in the win.
"It was great to see Jeff Kamrath back out there today, I thought he pitched very well for his first college outing in a long time," said head Virginia baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "The other story of the game was Sean Doolittle. We really felt like Doolittle could make an impact on our program right away, both on the mound and with his bat, and today he showed how effective he can be for us. This was a big weekend for our team to come down here and get two wins out of three games on the road against a solid team. Hopefully these wins will give us some momentum going into the middle of the week."
Virginia wasted little time establishing a lead and jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. UVa's Matt Street led off the game with a single to center field and Tom Hagan was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second base for the Cavaliers. Following a passed ball to move each baserunner ahead one base, Ryan Zimmerman's RBI-single through the left side drove in Street for the game's first score. One batter later, Virginia's Josh Darby grounded into a double play that allowed Hagan to score a run from third base to give the Cavaliers a two-run cushion.
UNC Wilmington fought back and got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning and took a 3-2 lead after plating three runs on the side. The Seahawks cut UVa's lead to 2-1 when Tim Preston led off the side with a double to right-center field before scoring a run one batter later on a hard hit strike to first base by Jonathan Batts. Three batters later, UNCW's Lee McLean gave the Seahawks their first lead of the contest at 3-2 when his two-run RBI-double down the right field line scored Batts and Chris Hatcher.
The Cavaliers responded in the top of the fourth inning and scored a pair of runs to regain the lead at 4-3. Zimmerman led off the inning with a walk before Scott Headd plated him for a run three batters later on a RBI groundout to tie the game at 3-3. In UVa's next at-bat, Mike Campagna drove in Sean Doolittle (who singled to reach base) from second with an RBI-single to center field to give Virginia a one-run lead at 4-3.
Virginia increased its lead extended its advantage to 5-3 in the top of the fifth inning. Tim Henry got the inning started for UVa when he singled and scored a run three batters later after Zimmerman drove him in from third base with a sacrifice fly to left field. The Cavaliers kept the runs coming and took a 6-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning when Doolittle hit a solo home run deep over the right-center field wall. Doolittle's home run was the first of his collegiate career and Virginia's first of the 2005 season.
UNC Wilmington cut UVa's lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Hatcher walked before scoring a run from second base two batters later on a RBI-double by McLean. McLean's double in the alley bounced off of the right-center field wall to allow Hatcher to score, trimming the Cavaliers' lead to two runs.
With UNC Wilmington only two runs behind, Virginia pushed its lead to 7-4 in the top of the eighth inning. Zimmerman reached base on an error and stole second base before Darby drove him in to score a run with an RBI-single to center field to give the Cavaliers a three-run cushion.
UVa starting pitcher Jeff Kamrath (1-0), making his first appearance since the 2003 season against Maryland, picked up the win after he pitched 5.1 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits to go along with six strikeouts. Closer Casey Lambert picked up his second save of the year when he closed out the final inning with two strikeouts.
UNCW starting pitcher Thomas Benton (0-1) took the loss and lasted only 4.1 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits and struck out two batters.
With the victory, Virginia's record improves to 2-1 on the season. The loss drops UNC Wilmington's record to 3-2 on the year. UVa claimed the weekend series against UNCW, two games to one.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Wednesday, February 16th when UVa travels to Norfolk, Va. to face the Old Dominion Monarchs in a non-conference game. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM.
-- UVa --
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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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