March 19, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 3-ranked Virginia baseball team used a four-run third inning to overcome a 3-0 deficit as the Cavaliers registered a 5-3 triumph over the visiting Towson Tigers (9-7) at Davenport Field on Wednesday afternoon. Nick Howard’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth inning gave UVa (16-3) the lead for good, and later junior picked up his fifth save on the mound.
Towson jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Hunter Bennett reached first base to lead things off after he topped the ball back to UVa pitcher David Rosenberger (So., Bethlehem, Pa.) who registered the when he couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Rosenberger’s next pitch hit Dominic Fratantuono, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Brandon Gonnella advanced the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Chris Henze chopped a roller to third for the inning’s second out, but Bennett scored on the play for the game’s first run. Rosenberger battled Kurt Wertz to a 3-2 count before the left fielder deposited a two-run home run down the right field line, capping Towson’s three-run first inning.
Virginia finally broke through with four runs in the home half of the third inning on four hits, taking the lead for good. With one out in the frame, Robert Bennie (So., Stroudsburg, Pa.) singled to center field to start the rally. Branden Cogswell (Jr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) reached on an error by first baseman Peter Bowles and UVa had runners on first and second with one out. Daniel Pinero (Fr., Toronto, Ontario) singled to the left side to load the bases. Mike Papi (Jr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) almost maneuvered his single through the left side, but Towson third baseman Brady Policelli dove and knocked the ball down, allowing only Bennie to score. The bases remained loaded for Joe McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) who walked, forcing Cogswell to score. Howard (Jr., Olney, Md.) followed with his two- run single to score Pinero and Papi, giving UVa the lead for good.
The Cavaliers pushed another run across in the bottom of the fourth inning, taking a 5-3 lead over the Tigers. Matt Thaiss
(Fr., Jackson, N.J.) led things off with a single to right field. Kenny Towns
(Jr., Burke, Va.) walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Bennie executed the sacrifice bunt to perfection, advancing runners to second and third. Cogswell lifted a ball to left field, scoring Thaiss on the sacrifice fly. With two outs, UVa was able to load the bases for McCarthy. Towson reliever Kevin Ross, facing his second batter in relief, forced McCarthy to ground out to first to end the threat.
Rosenberger (1-0) pitched 4.0 innings for UVa to pick up his first win of the season. The UVa bullpen was stellar in relief of Rosenberger, pitching 5.0 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, while striking out seven. Whit Mayberry (R-Sr., Alexandria, Va.) went 3.0 innings with four strikeouts in relief of Rosenberger. Austin Young (Sr., Mechanicsville, Va.) went the eighth inning and Howard went the ninth for the save. Howard gave a leadoff single to Gonnella for the only hit yielded by the UVa bullpen and then retired the next three batters, striking out two. Towson starter Joe Patton picked up the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season.
UVa travels to Miami this weekend (March 22-24) for a three-game ACC series. The Saturday, March 22 and Sunday March 23 games are on ESPN3. The Monday, March 24 game will be televised live on ESPNU.