LYNCHBURG, Va. - The #7 ranked University of Virginia baseball team defeated the Liberty Flames by the score of 6-4 in a non-conference game played at LU's Worthington Stadium. The Cavaliers opened up to a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning en route to the 6-4 victory. The contest was UVa's final regular season road contest this year.
Virginia (41-11, 18-5 ACC) jumped on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning and took a 1-0 lead when Mark Reynolds smacked a lead-off home run to left field. Reynolds' home run was his 10th of the season. But Liberty (22-29, 6-15 Big South) responded in the bottom of the first inning and tied the game at 1-1 when the Flames' Jeremiah Boles answered Reynolds' lead-off homer with one of his own, this one to right field, knotting the score at 1-1.
The Cavaliers took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning when Scott Headd doubled down the left field to bring Joe Koshansky home for the first run of the inning. Two batters later, Paul Gillispie singled through the left side of the infield to score Headd to give UVa a two-run lead.
Virginia built onto its lead in the top of the fourth inning with two more runs to make it a 5-1 game. Reynolds scored the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field by Ryan Zimmerman before Headd smacked a single up the middle to drive in Matt Dunn for a run.
The Flames mounted a rally in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring three runs to cut the lead down to one at 5-4. Liberty's Philip John started the scoring with a double to right center field which scored Ryan Hutchinson. John scored two batters later on a Boles groundout. Phillip Laurent finished off the scoring with a single through the right side of the infield to plate Michael Just, who had doubled to get on base, to pull LU within one run of the Cavaliers.
The score remained 5-4 until the top of the ninth inning when Tom Hagan singled through the right side of the infield, bringing in Dunn to score a run to make it a 6-4 contest. Dunn reached base on an error.
On the mound, Virginia's Shooter Starr (3-0) pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he faced to get the win. UVa's Casey Lambert pitched one inning, allowing no hits for his seventh save of the season. LU's Stephen Williams (1-1) was dealt the loss.
The Cavaliers will return to home action on Wednesday, May 19th when UVa hosts Liberty in Virginia's final regular season game of the year. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 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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