#10 UVa. rolls past ECU behind Hultzen

Behind a masterful performance on the mound and at the plate from Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.), the Virginia baseball team earned a 10-1 win over East Carolina Friday night at a windy Davenport Field. Virginia (5-0) scored 10 runs in the third and fourth innings to turn the game into a blowout.

Hultzen (2-0) struck out a career-high 15 batters and walked none in seven dominating innings. He allowed just three hits and retired 19 straight batters from the first to the seventh inning. During that span, only one ball left the infield. His previous strikeout high was 13, set in 2009 against Florida State and matched last year at Duke. At the plate, Hultzen was effect as well, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs.

With his 15-strikeout effort, Hultzen moved from sixth up to fourth place on the UVa career strikeouts list with 255. He fell four shy of the UVa single-game strikeout record of 19, set by Harry Thomas in 1974 against Clemson.

Virginia (5-0) rocked reigning Conference USA Pitcher of the Year Seth Maness (1-1) for nine runs (three earned) and nine hits in 3.1 innings. The Cavaliers also benefited from five errors by ECU (3-1), which helped result in seven unearned runs.

John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.), David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) and John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) each had a pair of hits for UVa, which finished with 13 hits on the evening.

The teams played two-and-a-half scoreless innings before the Cavaliers exploded for four runs and five hits as eight men batted in the third. Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) reached on an error to lead off and moved to second on a single by Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.). One out later Hultzen singled into right to plate Taylor and move Werman to third. That hit began a string of four-consecutive hits as Hicks hit a two-run double to right-center, Barr hit an RBI single to center and Coleman singled to center.

UVa then scored six runs and sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth inning while taking advantage of a trio of ECU errors. All six runs were unearned. With one out Taylor again reached on an error. He advanced to second when shortstop Jack Reinheimer errantly threw to second on a Werman groundball and moved to third on an error by third baseman Drew Reynolds, which loaded the bases. Hultzen then hit a two-run single to right and Hicks was hit by a pitch to again load the bases while spelling the end of the night for Maness.

Reliever Shawn Armstrong had no more success, promptly giving up a run-scoring single to right to Barr and walking Coleman to force in a run. Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring in Hicks, and Armstrong then walked Jared King (So., Radford, Va.) and Taylor to force in another run and push the lead to 10-0.

After allowing a leadoff single to Trent Whitehead in the first inning, Hultzen retired the next 19 batters before surrendering an infield single to Corey Thompson in the seventh inning. John Wooten followed with a double to right-center to provide the Pirates with their lone run.

Corey Hunt (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.) came on in relief of Hultzen and blanked the Pirates over the final two innings.

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