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Daniel Lynch dazzles as No. 11 Virginia tops JMU, 7-2

uva baseballBehind a complete-game effort from Daniel Lynch (So., Henrico, Va.), the No. 11 Virginia baseball team picked up a 7-2 win over James Madison Wednesday evening at Davenport Field. Virginia (31-9) now has won 10 of its last 11 games as it heads into a weekend series against Notre Dame.

“Daniel Lynch was terrific tonight,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “To go out and throw a complete game anymore in college baseball is really special. Early in the game he had a couple of walks and his command wasn’t great, but in the middle innings he settled in and the back part of the game was in complete command. I’m really proud of him. He gave us the lift we need going into a conference weekend.”

Lynch (6-2) earned his first career complete game and the first in a midweek game for a Virginia pitcher since Will Roberts recorded a perfect game against George Washington on March 29, 2011. He allowed two earned runs, six hits and three walks while striking out a season-high seven batters. Lynch got stronger as the game progressed, retiring the side in order in three of the final four innings.

JMU (18-18) used five pitchers, with starter Matt Marsili (0-3) taking the loss after giving up five earned runs, three hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. JMU pitchers walked seven batters and hit three others with pitches.

Virginia was limited to six hits, matching a season low. Ernie Clement (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.) went 2-for-4 with three RBI and stole a pair of bases. Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) had a double, scored twice and stole two bases, upping his ACC-leading total to 25. Nate Eikhoff (So., Bristow, Va.) also scored a pair of runs.

Virginia sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run second inning. Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) hit a leadoff triple and scored on a sac fly from Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.). UVA loaded the bases with two outs, and Clement hit a single to right-center to score a pair, and when center fielder Mike Sciorra overran the ball, McCarthy came all the way around from first to score. Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) later hit a ground-rule double to right-center to score Clement for a 5-0 lead.

UVA tacked on a run in the fourth inning without the benefit of a hit, as McCarthy drew a leadoff walk, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout from Haseley.

JMU scored its first run in the fifth. Kyle McPherson singled with one out, moved to second on a groundout and came home on an RBI single from Brett Johnson.

Virginia added a run in the sixth on Clement’s infield single to score Eikhoff. JMU got its final run in the eighth on a solo homer by Adam Sisk.

Virginia plays host to Notre Dame in a three-game ACC series this weekend (Friday-Sunday) in the Fighting Irish’s first trip to Charlottesville as members of the ACC.

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