Feb. 22, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Virginia baseball team lost its first game of the 2004 season after dropping an 8-3 decision to the Penn State Nittany Lions in a non-conference game played in front of 956 spectators at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. Penn State built an early 8-0 lead after three innings of play and came away with a five-run victory. UVa and PSU split the two-game weekend series 1-1 after the Cavaliers posted a 7-1 win in the first contest played on Saturday.
Penn State scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take an early 3-0 lead. The Nittany Lions got things started when Clint Eury grounded out (RBI) to first base to score Mike Milliron from third base to give PSU a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Scott Gummo (single) and Matt Harter (single) each scored a run after a UVa fielding error allowed both baserunner to cross the plate to give the Nittany Lions a three-run lead.
Penn State scored three more runs in the top of the sixth inning and stretched its lead to 6-0. Harter connected on a two-run, RBI-single to left field that plated Travis Laird (single) and Mike Milliron (fielder's choice) before Eury scored Gummo with a RBI-double to left field. The Nittany Lions then tacked on two more runs in the top of the third inning to take an 8-0 lead. Brett Showalter led off the inning with a triple to right-center field before scoring in PSU's next at-bat on a RBI-single to center field by Laird. Laird would later score a run from third base after Milliron grounded into double play.
Trailing 8-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Cavaliers scored their first run of the contest and made it an 8-1 game when Scott Headd singled up the middle to lead off the side before he scored a run three batters later on a RBI ground-out by Matt Street. UVa added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull within 8-2 when Ryan Zimmerman doubled to right field before he crossed the plate on a RBI-double to left field by teammate Matt Dunn.
The Cavaliers tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it an 8-3 contest when Mark Reynolds drove in Street (single) from first base with a RBI-double to right field. However, that would be all the scoring Virginia would muster as the Cavaliers fell 8-3.
UVa starting pitcher Chris Gale (1-1) took the loss after going 1.1 inning and allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits with one strikeout. Relief pitcher Scott Morgenthaler was one of four Cavaliers to see relief duty on the mound and gave up two runs on four hits with a team-high four strikeouts. The trio of Alan Zimmerer (1.0 inning), Casey Lambert (2.0 inning, two strikeouts) and Canon Hickman (1.0 inning, one strikeout) also saw action on the mound for UVa.
PSU's starting pitcher Clayton Hamilton went 4.1 innings and allowed just one run on two hits and struck out a team-high six batters. Relief pitcher Aaron Tressler went 2.0 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and struck out two batters while Craig Clark tossed 2.2 scoreless innings and struck out three batters to close out the game.
With the loss, Virginia's record falls to 5-1 overall. The victory improves Penn State's record to 1-1 on the season. UVa and PSU split the weekend series, 1-1.
The Cavaliers will return to home action on Tuesday, February 24th when UVa hosts the James Madison Dukes in a non-conference game. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium.
-- 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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