April 19, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Behind a four-hitter from Bennett Sousa (So., North Palm Beach, Fla.) and Tyler Shambora (Jr., Venice, Fla.), the Virginia baseball team downed Radford, 11-3, Tuesday evening at Davenport Field. Virginia improved to 24-15, while Radford dropped to 10-27.
“Our plan was to chop the game up and see how Bennett Sousa started off and evaluate from there,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “He gave us five strong innings and Tyler Shambora was able to pitch the back half of the game. Certainly it helps us out with two midweek games. It was huge for Bennett to give us a great start. He threw strikes tonight and gave himself a chance.”
Making his first career start, Sousa worked a career-high five innings, giving up three runs (two earned), four hits and no walks while striking out four. He earned the win to improve to 3-0 this season. Shambora allowed just one baserunner in four scoreless innings to earn his first save.
Radford starter Tyler Swarmer (2-3) allowed six earned runs, five hits and two walks in three innings in absorbing the loss. The Highlanders used five pitchers in the game.
Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) and Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) each had a pair of hits and scored twice, while Charlie Cody (So., Chesapeake, Va.) drove in three runs for Virginia, which finished with eight hits. Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) extended his hit streak to a career-high 10 games with a third-inning single.
Radford jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Chris Coia hit a leadoff double and scored one out later on an infield single from Danny Hrbek. UVA manufactured a run in the second as Smith pulled a leadoff single and Daniel Pinero (Jr., Toronto, Ontario) walked, and after a Jack Gerstenmaier (So., Richmond, Va.) sacrifice, Cody grounded out to bring in the run.
Virginia batted around and scored five runs in the third inning to take a 6-1 lead. With one out and the runners at first and second moving, Thaiss lined a double to right field to plate two runs. Smith followed with a run-scoring single to center and came home on a triple to center by Pinero that was lost in the sun by Luke Wise. One batter later, Cody hit a sacrifice fly to center.
Radford knocked Sousa from the game three batters into the sixth inning and clipped a pair of runs from its deficit on an RBI double from Shane Johnsonbaugh and a sac fly from Trevor Riggs. Virginia added a run in its half of the sixth on a slow infield roller from Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) that plated Cody, who doubled with one out.
UVA added four runs in the seventh inning despite just one hit. Three walks loaded the bases before reliever Nygeal Andrews uncorked a wild pitch to bring home Clement. Nate Eikhoff (Fr., Bristow, Va.) followed with a ringing triple down the right-field line that scored both baserunners. Cody hit a run-scoring grounder to shortstop to make it an 11-3 game.
Virginia plays host to VCU (25-12) at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Davenport Field. VirginiaSports.com will have a video broadcast, while WINA 1070-AM and 98.9-FM have the radio call. A link to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.
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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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