#2 UVa. rolls to win over George Mason

Edited by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net
 

The second-ranked Virginia baseball team racked up 15 hits in posting a 10-3 win over George Mason Wednesday evening at Davenport Field. Six Cavaliers notched at least two hits as the Cavaliers rolled to the win.

Reed Gragnani (Fr., Richmond, Va.) and Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) – the Cavaliers’ eight- and nine-hole hitters – each recorded three hits for Virginia (31-9). Gragnani set career highs with his three hits and three RBI.

Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) tripled in the third inning for his 14th career triple, breaking the school record. Parker was tied with Brian Buchanan (1992-94) for the career record. Parker finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI. Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) scored three runs in the game and scored seven times in UVa’s two midweek games this week.

Justin Thompson (So., Danville, Va.), the second of six UVa pitchers, notched the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. He improved to 2-0 on the season. Whit Mayberry (Fr., Alexandria, Va.) started for the Cavaliers and worked three innings, allowing two runs (one earned), four hits and one walk while striking out one.

George Mason’s T.J. O’Grady (2-1) was credited with the loss after pitching one inning and allowing five earned runs and six hits.

The game started one hour, 11 minutes late because of a thunderstorm, and the Cavaliers jumped out quickly with a run in the first. With one out Taylor drew a walk. He advanced to second on a groundout by Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) and scored when Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) tripled off the top of the left-center field wall.

George Mason (23-12) took the lead with a two-run third inning. Brett Hendricks and Dan Schafferman hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Jeremy Haas followed with a bunt single, and when the throw hit him in the back, Hendricks came around to score and Schaefferman moved to third. Brig Tison then grounded into a double play to score the second run of the inning.

Virginia promptly responded with three runs in its half of the third. Werman led off with a single to center. One out later Taylor and Grovatt hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Proscia then hit a rocket back to the mound, which ricocheted off O’Grady and bounced to shortstop Ryan Soares, who got the force out at second while Werman scored. Parker followed with a triple to center to score Taylor and Proscia to break the tie and give UVa a 4-2 lead.

The Cavaliers added a pair of runs in the fourth inning. John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) was hit by a pitch to lead off, then stole second and scored on a Gragnani single. Werman then doubled just inside first base and down the right-field line to plate Gragnani and push the lead to 6-2.

In the fifth the Cavaliers tacked on two runs when Gragnani singled to right to plate Parker and Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.).

George Mason added its final run in the seventh inning when Haas scored on a Taylor throwing error.

Virginia scored its final two runs in the eighth inning. Taylor was hit by a pitch to lead off and then scored all the way from first when Grovatt singled to center and Haas booted the ball for an error. Proscia followed with a single to move Grovatt to third, and Parker hit a sacrifice fly to center to stretch the lead to 10-3.

Virginia plays at Maryland in a three-game ACC series this weekend. The teams are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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