Feb. 15, 2004
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The University of Virginia baseball team put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep over the North Carolina A&T Aggies in a non-conference series at War Memorial Stadium. After briefly falling behind early on for the first time all weekend, the Cavaliers scored eight unanswered runs and cruised to a comfortable 12-5 victory over the Aggies. UVa scored 12 runs after pounding out 14 hits.
In the bottom of the first inning, North Carolina A&T took its first and only lead of the weekend series after going ahead 1-0. The Aggies' Austin Love reached base on a lead off walk before he came around to score a run three batters later on a RBI sacrifice fly to right-center field by teammate Charlie Gamble.
However, the Cavaliers came right back in the top of the second inning and took the lead for good. Joe Koshansky scored Virginia's first run of the contest when reached base on an error and scored a run three batters later on a RBI ground out by Scott Headd. Josh Darby singled in his first collegiate at-bat before he scored a run himself on a RBI-single by Kyle Werman that dribbled into right field to give UVa a 2-1 lead.
Virginia extended its lead to 4-1 by scoring two more runs in the top of the third inning, thanks in part to two hits and three North Carolina A&T errors. Koshansky (single) and Matt Dunn (reached base on an error) each scored a run for the Cavaliers to give the Orange and Blue a three-run lead. UVa mustered another run in the top of the fifth inning to make it a 5-1 ballgame when Ryan Zimmerman singled to start off the side before he scored a run two batters later on a RBI ground out by Matt Dunn.
The Cavaliers pushed their lead to 8-1 in the top of the seventh inning by scoring three more runs. Koshansky got the inning rolling when he walked before eventually scoring a run from second base with the bases loaded after an Aggie error. Later in the inning, Zimmerman connected on a two-run RBI-single up the middle to drive in Dunn (single) and Darby (reached on an error).
Trailing by seven runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, North Carolina A&T finally got its offense rolling after UVa's Koshansky (Virginia's starting pitcher) left the mound following a pitching change. The Aggies connected on four consecutive hits, including a two-run RBI-double by Joshua McKnight, to pull N.C. A&T with four runs of UVa at 8-4.
But the Cavaliers answered right back and tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 10-4 lead. Mike Mitchell led off with a walk before he stole two of his game-high four stolen bases to make his way to third base. Two batters later, Mark Reynolds drove Mitchell in to score a run when he connected on a RBI-triple to center field. His triple was UVa's first of the season and the fourth of his career. Reynolds then scored a run in UVa's next at-bat following a RBI sacrifice fly to left field by Zimmerman to give the Cavaliers a six-run advantage.
North Carolina A&T cut Virginia's lead in half and made it a 10-5 game in the bottom of the eighth inning when Charlie Gamble drove in Jeremy Jones with a RBI-double to left-center field. But the Cavaliers countered and posted two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to extend their lead to 12-5 when Matt Street recorded a two-run RBI-double that drove in pinch runner Tim Henry and Headd.
UVa's Koshansky (1-0) threw 6.0 strong innings and allowed just one unearned run on one infield hit with a game-high five strikeouts. The Cavaliers' Josh Myers closed out the game by tossing 2.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits with one strikeout.
N.C. A&T starting pitcher Michael Hauff (0-1) picked up the loss after going 7.0 innings and allowed eight runs to go along with three strikeouts.
With the victory, Virginia's record improved to 3-0 overall, while the loss drops North Carolina A&T's record to 0-5 on the season.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Wednesday, February 18th when Virginia returns to Greensboro, N.C. to face the UNC Greensboro Spartans in a non-conference game. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 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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