April 7, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Behind seven strong innings of pitching from Derek Casey (Jr., Mechanicsville, Va.) and a 17-hit outburst from the offense, the No. 18 Virginia baseball team rolled to a 12-1 win over Pittsburgh on a blustery Friday evening at Davenport Field. Virginia (24-8, 6-7 ACC) scored in double figures for the third straight game, while limiting Pitt (14-13, 6-7) to just three hits.
"I thought Derek Casey was terrific. Certainly he set the tone for us on the mound tonight," Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor said. "This has been building up over the last couple of starts, that he was getting prepared to move into the weekend, and he earned that opportunity. He proved tonight that it was warranted. He went out and had great command of all of his pitches and certainly got some big strikeouts.
"It was a collective effort offensively. Guys are really swinging the bats well this week. Pittsburgh has good pitching and we're going to face a good starter again tomorrow, and we're going to have to come with that kind of effort and energy as well."
In his first career weekend start, Casey (3-0) matched a career high by working seven innings while allowing a run, three hits and two walks and striking out nine. Grant Donahue (So., Berlin, Md.) tossed two perfect innings to wrap up the win. The duo combined to retire the final 14 Pitt batters and 20 of the last 21.
Pitt starter Matt Pidich (3-3) suffered the loss after allowing five runs, nine hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings.
Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) continued his hot stretch, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBI. In his last five games, Smith has driven in 19 runs. Virginia hit three home runs, with Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.) going 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) finishing 2-for-4 with a home run and four runs scored and Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio) hitting a solo homer and scoring three runs. Haseley extended his hit streak to a career-high 14 games.
Virginia pounced for a pair of runs just four batters into the game. With one out Weber lined a home run into the right-field bleachers, his second homer of the year. After Haseley walked and stole second, Smith singled to center for a 2-0 lead.
Pitt scored a run in the second on a Caleb Parry RBI double, but UVA stretched the lead again in the third, scoring three runs off of home runs. Haseley led off with a home run to center field, his 10th blast of the year. After Smith doubled down the right-field line, Coman cranked a two-run homer into the right-field bleachers, his fourth round-tripper of the season.
Virginia took advantage of a Pitt miscue to score four unearned runs in the fifth inning to push the lead to 9-1. A dropped fly ball on the potential third out allowed Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.) to score and two batters later, with the bases loaded, Smith launched a towering fly ball that hit off the wall in right-center, clearing the bases.
UVA added a pair of runs in the seventh on a Coman sac fly and a Nate Eikhoff (So., Bristow, Va.) RBI single and tacked on one in the eighth on an RBI single from Haseley.
Game 2 is at 4 p.m. Saturday. The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Welsh Connection Adds to Bowl StorylinesFootball12/14/17Virginia (6-6) meets Navy (6-6) in the Military Bowl, Dec. 28 in Annapolis, Md. George Welsh is a former head coach of each team.Cooper Thriving Under New StaffSwimming & Diving12/12/17A senior from Atlanta and one of the team's captains, Caitlin Cooper set the UVA women's record in the 50-yard freestyle early this month in Athens, Georgia.Hazzard Aiming to Uphold Family TraditionTrack & Field, Cross Country12/11/17A freshman from Long Island, New York, Halle Hazzard is the younger sister of Payton Hazzard, who was an All-America sprinter for the Cavaliers.
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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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