May 26, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The #7 seeded Virginia Cavaliers (40-17) won their eighth consecutive game and knocked off a higher seeded team in the 2005 ACC Baseball Championship for the second time in as many days as UVa dispatched the #6 seeded N.C. State Wolfpack (40-16) by the score of 12-2 in a seven-inning affair at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The game was stopped due to a 10-run rule after seven innings when the Cavaliers took their 12-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Virginia starting pitcher Matt Avery went seven complete innings and allowed just one earned run as the Cavaliers' offense exploded for three, four and five runs in the first three innings as UVa cruised to its 40th win of the season. Virginia is now 2-0 in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 1996 - which was the last time UVa won the ACC Tournament by claiming the 1996 title.
"This was another great win for our ballclub," said Virginia head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "It was critical for us to follow up the win we had yesterday with a game like we played today - and that's just what we did. Matt Avery pitched a tremendous ballgame for us today. He has given us some real quality starts down the stretch and it was great to see that out of him again today. Our offense really swung the bats well today too. Now, we have a day off tomorrow (Friday), and we'll be ready for whoever we have to face on Saturday in our next game."
Virginia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Street got things started for the Cavaliers with a walk before he scored in UVa's next at-bat when Ryan Zimmerman doubled down the left field line to make it 1-0. One batter later, Sean Doolittle plated Zimmerman for a run with a RBI-single to center field to make it a 2-0 ballgame. UVa then extended its lead to three runs three batters later when Tom Hagan pulled a RBI-single through the right side to drive in Brandon Guyer (who singled to reach base) to give Virginia a 3-0 advantage. UVa's three-run side in the first inning would eventually prove to be enough scoring to claim the win.
N.C. State trimmed Virginia's lead to 3-1 in the top of the second inning when Aaron Cone led off the side with a single up the middle before he scored a run two batters later on a RBI-single to center field by Lee Mezistrano.
But UVa answered right back in the bottom of the second inning and made it a 7-1 ballgame by scoring four more runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Doolittle dribbled an RBI-single to shortstop to drive in Kyle Werman (who singled to lead off the side) to make it 4-1. In UVa's next at-bat, again with the bases loaded, Guyer reached base on a fielder's choice RBI and two runs scored on the play when the Wolfpack's third baseman Matt Devine committed a throwing error to allow Tim Henry (walk) and Zimmerman (intentional walk) to cross the plate to make it 6-1. Doolittle eventually scored a run himself in the inning when he crossed the plate on a wild pitch to give UVa a 7-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the third inning, Virginia tacked on five more runs and stretched its lead to 12-1. Five of the first seven Cavaliers that stepped to the plate scored a run and the inning was highlighted by a trio of RBI-singles by Henry, Zimmerman and Guyer before Scott Headd drove in two more runs with a two-run RBI-double down the left field line.
The Wolfpack stopped the Cavaliers' string of nine unanswered runs when Aaron Bates hit a solo home run to right field in the top of the fourth inning. But that would be as close as N.C. State would get as UVa rolled to victory.
UVa's Avery (6-5) picked up the win after going 7.0 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and struck out a game-high five batters and didn't walk a batter.
NCSU starting pitcher Gib Hobson was chased from the game after going 1.1 innings but not before he allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Saturday, May 28th at 10:00 AM when Virginia plays the winner of the #2 seed Clemson vs. #6 seed N.C. State game. The Clemson/N.C. State contest will take place on Friday, May 27th at 4:00 PM.
-- UVa --
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Director of News Content
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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