#1 Cavs beat #10 Coastal Carolina
Edited by Chris Graham
The Virginia baseball team, ranked No. 1 this week by Baseball America, stopped No. 10 Coastal Carolina’s 17-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory over the Chanticleers Tuesday at Davenport Field.
Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) hit a second-inning grand slam, which proved to be all the offense the Cavaliers needed behind the strong pitching of Branden Kline (Fr., Frederick, Md.), Tyler Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) and Kevin Arico (Jr., Flemington, N.J.).
Virginia (35-9) ran its winning streak to six games and gave head coach Brian O’Connor his 300th career win at UVa. O’Connor is in his seventh season at the helm of the Cavaliers.
Kline (3-0) recorded his best start as a Cavalier, holding Coastal (36-6) to two runs (one earned), four hits and one walk while striking out four over five innings. Wilson allowed a run over three innings before Arico pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save, tying him with Appalachian State’s Chris Patterson for the NCAA lead.
Jim Birmingham (6-2) took the loss for Coastal after starting and working 3.1 innings, giving up five earned runs, five hits and one walk with a pair of strikeouts.
Gosselin, John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) and Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) each had a pair of hits for Virginia. Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) played in his 225th career game, tying the UVa career record set by David Stone (1999-2002).
Virginia scored four runs in the second inning, with all the damage coming after two were already out. Hicks and Swab started things with back-to-back singles. Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.) then drew a walk before Gosselin cranked a 2-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his second career grand slam. It was his fifth home run this season.
The Chanticleers tallied their first run in the third inning, although Kline worked out of a tough jam to allow just one score. Chance Gilmore led off with a single to center. Taylor Motter then hit a sinking liner to center field which scooted to the wall for a triple, scoring Gilmore. Kline buckled down to strike out Rico Noel before hitting Scott Woodward with a pitch. Hicks then threw out Woodward attempting to steal second – Woodward entered the game as the national leader in stolen bases (40). Kline followed with a strikeout of Jose Iglesias to end the threat.
Virginia got the run back in the fourth inning. With one out Hicks doubled to left-center, and Swab followed with a single to center to push the lead back to four, 5-1. UVa added another run in the fifth inning, as Gosselin led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a Proscia single and scored on a Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va) sacrifice fly.
Coastal Carolina scored a run in the sixth inning. Noel led off with a single against Kline before Tyler Wilson came into the game in relief with a 2-0 count against Woodward. He struck out Woodward as Noel stole second. Iglesias then reached on an error, and Noel stole third before Tommy La Stella lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
The Chanticleers strung together three straight two-out hits in the seventh inning to chip another run off the lead. Gilmore started the rally by beating out an infield single. Motter and Noel followed with singles to bring home the run. Wilson escaped further damage when he deflected Woodward’s comebacker to the mound and the ball bounced to Cannon at shortstop, who threw out the speedy Woodward by a half-step.