Jarrett Parker (So., Stafford, Va.) hit the go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and Matt Packer (So., Germantown, Tenn.) tossed 6.1 strong innings as the No. 11 Virginia baseball team defeated Liberty, 5-2, Tuesday at Davenport Field.
Parker hit his 13th home run this season to move into sole possession of eighth place on the UVa single-season home run chart. Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda, Md.), Tyler Cannon (Jr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) each had two hits. John Hicks (Fr., Sandy Hook, Va.) added a key two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning.
Packer (3-4) started and allowed two earned runs, seven hits and one walk while striking out one as he won his second straight Tuesday start. He kept the ball down all night with 16 of his outs coming via ground balls. Tyler Wilson (So., Midlothian, Va.) bridged the gap with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief before Kevin Arico (So., Flemington, N.J.) pitched the ninth to nab his sixth save.
Tyler Light (1-3) started for Liberty and pitched well before giving up three runs in the sixth inning. He went 5.1 innings, allowing five earned runs and eight hits while fanning four.
The Cavaliers’ defense was at its best, turning a season-high four double plays.
Virginia (35-9-1) broke a third-inning scoreless tie when Corey Hunt (R-So., Charlottesville, Va.) singled up the middle to score Cannon, who had singled to lead off the inning.
In the fourth inning, UVa added a run. Hultzen led off with a double to right-center and scored one out later when Proscia hit a grounder toward shortstop that took a wicked hop and bounced high over shortstop Matt Williams’ head for a single, scoring Hultzen and giving the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead.
The Flames (29-14) got on the board in the fifth inning with a two-out rally. Tim Rotola beat out a infield single, then stole second. He scored on the next pitch on a single by Trey Wimmer.
Liberty tied the score in the sixth inning. With one out, Errol Hollinger doubled down the left-field line to score Williams. Packer then walked Cody Brown, but rebounded to get Tyler Bream to hit a comebacker to the mound for a 1-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Cavaliers wasted no time in taking the lead back, as Parker led off and hit a towering home run to left-center on the second pitch of the inning. The ball sailed just to the left of the Blue Monster in center field.
Virginia did not stop there, with Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.) ripping the next pitch to center for a single. Hultzen then laid down a perfect bunt down that died on the grass for a single. Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) sacrificed the runners to second and third and with two out, Hicks shot a single up the middle to score two runs and give Virginia a 5-2 advantage.
Packer left in the seventh inning with one out and a runner on second base. Wilson walked Wimmer but bounced back to get P.J. Jimenez to ground into a double play. The Flames did not move a runner past first base the rest of the way.
Virginia now goes on a nine-day hiatus for final exams before returning to the field May 8-10 when it takes on Duke in a key ACC series at Davenport Field.