Feb. 25, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The No. 13 Virginia baseball team upped its record to 6-0 with a 12-4 triumph over Rutgers Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. In scoring at least seven runs for the sixth straight game, Virginia piled up a season-high 15 hits, while also benefiting from six Rutgers errors.
"I thought our guys from the start today came out ready to play," Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor said. "We took advantage of some opportunities in the first part of the game and then opened it up offensively in the fifth and sixth innings with five runs, and it was a collective effort. I thought Evan Sperling did a nice job and gave us a good quality start, and it was good to see Bennett Sousa come in and do a great job of managing the game. We have an opportunity tomorrow to sweep a series, which is very difficult to do against a quality opponent. I know we will get Rutgers' best again tomorrow."
Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) and Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.) each had three hits. Haseley reached base safely in each of his five plate appearances and now has reached base in 11 straight trips to the plate, dating to UVA's game last Tuesday against VMI. Haseley is 7-for-7 with six RBI now in the series.
Drew Blakely (Fr., Galesburg, Mich.), Ernie Clement (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.), Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.) and Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) each had a pair of hits for Virginia. Rutgers finished with eight hits in the game.
Virginia starting pitcher Evan Sperling (So., Poquoson, Va.) worked six innings in his second straight quality start. Sperling (2-0) gave up three earned runs, five hits and a walk while fanning four. Rutgers starter Serafino Brito (0-2) took the loss after allowing seven runs (five earned) and 12 hits in five innings.
Rutgers (1-4) jumped to a first-inning lead on a solo home run to right field from Tom Marcinczyk, but UVA immediately answered with a pair of runs in its half of the inning. The Cavaliers needed just five pitches to tie the game. Clement singled and moved to third on a throwing error following a sac bunt from Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.). Haseley hit a run-scoring single to center, and McCarthy scored on a groundout by Smith.
UVA added a run in the second on an RBI single from Clement and tacked on another in the third on a groundout from Coman to bring home Haseley.
Rutgers pulled within one, 4-3, with a pair of runs in the fourth. After Mike Carter drew a leadoff walk, Marcinczyk hit a run-scoring double to left-center. One batter later, Milo Freeman doubled to left.
Virginia scored three runs in the fifth inning. The Cavaliers got four straight singles to open the inning, capped by a two-run single from Blakely. One out later, Clement hit a sac fly to left. UVA tacked on a pair of runs in the sixth as Simmons hit an RBI double and later scored on a passed ball.
Rutgers scored in the top of the eighth, but UVA again responded by tallying three runs in the bottom of the frame. After reaching on an error to start the inning, McCarthy stole second and then scored following two balks. Haseley walked and, after the balks, scored on a Smith single. Smith later scored when Blakely reached on a two-out error.
The teams conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.
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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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