#3 UVa. run-rules Wake in ACC Tournament opener

Behind a 15-hit attack from its offense and 6.1 strong innings from starting pitcher Tyler Wilson (Sr., Midlothian, Va.), the Virginia baseball team defeated Wake Forest, 13-1 in seven innings, Wednesday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the teams’ first game of the ACC Baseball Championship. The game was called after six-and-a-half innings because of the tournament’s 10-run rule.

Virginia (46-9) is the top seed in the tournament, while Wake Forest (25-29) holds the No. 8 seed.

Wilson struck out a career-high 12 batters over 6.1 innings to earn the win and improve to 7-0 this year. He allowed just a run, two hits and a walk in notching his 24th career win, which stands third in program history.

After recording three runs and 15 hits in its three-game series at North Carolina last weekend, Virginia exploded for 13 runs and 15 hits in six trips to the plate Wednesday. Four Cavaliers earned three hits apiece, while nine of UVa’s hits resulted in extra bases. Virginia totaled seven doubles, one shy of the tournament record.

The four through six hitters of UVa’s lineup combined to go 9-for-12 (3-for-4 each). Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) fell a single shy of the cycle, while Jared King (Jr., Radford, Va.) hit three doubles and scored three times. Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) posted three hits, while leadoff hitter Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI.

Wake Forest starter Brian Holmes (3-4) took the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) and nine hits in 4.1 innings.

Virginia wasted little time in grabbing the early lead. Taylor led off the first inning with a double to center, then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) sacrifice fly to right.

Wake Forest used the long ball to tie the game in the second as Mac Williamson cranked a solo blast over the Blue Monster with one out.

Virginia scored 12 unanswered runs over the next five innings. UVa scored in its half of the second while benefiting from a key Wake Forest error. With one out and a runner on first, David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) hit a grounder to shortstop, where Pat Blair muffed it for an error. One out later Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) walked to load the bases, and Taylor ripped a double to left-center, easily scoring all three runners to give the Cavaliers a 4-1 lead.

UVa tacked on a pair of runs in the third on a run-scoring double from King and a sacrifice fly by Coleman.

The Cavaliers’ only scoreless inning was the fourth, but UVa rebounded to score three times in the fifth. Proscia and King hit consecutive doubles to start the inning and produce the first run. One out later, facing reliever John McLeod, Coleman reached on a fielder’s choice, with King sliding in safely at third. Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) followed with a single to right to plate King, and with two outs and the bases loaded, Barr was hit by a pitch to force in Gragnani.

Proscia hit a long home run over the Blue Monster to start the sixth inning, his team-leading sixth of the season. King followed with a double and later scored on a double-play ball. Werman then ripped a double to center to score Swab and with two outs Barr singled in Werman to push the lead to 13-1.

UVa continues pool play at 11 a.m. Friday when it battles No. 5 seed Miami. The Cavaliers conclude pool play at 7 p.m. Saturday against No. 4 seed North Carolina.

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