#4 ‘Hoos roll over Dukes
Edited by Chris Graham
The #4 Virginia baseball team downed James Madison, 9-4, Tuesday evening in front of 2,521 spectators at Davenport Field.
Virginia’s Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. John Barr (Jr., Ivyland, Pa.), Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) and Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) each had two hits. Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.) also had a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) went 1-for-3 to stretch his career-best hit streak to 13 games.
Justin Thompson (So., Danville, Va.), the second of seven Virginia pitchers, earned his first win with a career-long 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. All seven of his outs came by strikeout. Kevin Arico (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) earned his 10th save by getting the final out in the ninth inning.
JMU starter Jason Kuhn (1-2) was credited with the loss after pitching 4.1 innings and allowing six runs (five earned), nine hits and two walks.
UVa pitchers struck out a season-high 18 batters, but walked 14 as well – also a season high. Despite all the walks, Virginia’s pitchers dodged further problems while stranding 16 JMU baserunners.
UVa allowed just five hits in the game, and only two after the fourth inning.
James Madison (15-13) scored a run in the first, but UVa reliever Shane Halley (So., Burke, Va.) walked a tight rope to keep the Dukes’ tally to just one. UVa starter Will Roberts (So., Richmond, Va.) walked the leadoff batter, Johnny Bladel, and then surrendered a run-scoring double to Trevor Knight. After striking out Matt Browning, Roberts walked David Herbek and was lifted in favor of Halley, who then walked Jake Lowery to load the bases. Halley rebounded to strike out Matt Townsend and get Matt Tenaglia to ground out to a diving Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) at first base to end the inning.
Virginia (24-6) responded with a run in its half of the first. Cannon and Bruno hit back-to-back singles and then combined for a double steal. Proscia walked and Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Cannon.
JMU wasted no time in taking the lead back. Mike Fabiaschi led off the second and hit a 3-2 Halley pitch into the left-field bleachers for his second home run of the season.
Virginia countered with a pair of runs in the second – with everything coming after two were out. Taylor started the rally with a bunt single and moved to second on an errant throw by Browning at third base. He scored on a single by Gosselin, who moved to second on the throw to the plate. Cannon then doubled to center to plate Gosselin and give UVa the lead for good, 3-2.
John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) hit a two-out solo home run to center field in the fourth inning to push the UVa lead to 4-2. It was Hicks’ second homer of the year.
Virginia added a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Bruno led off the inning with a double to left and scored after a pair of wild pitches. The Cavaliers’ second run scored in a much stranger fashion. With runners at second and third and one out, Barr grounded back to the mound. Parker was caught between third and home but slid back into third safely as Hicks approached the base. Hicks then went back toward second, and when the throw went toward shortstop David Herbek, Parker broke for home and scored when no one covered the plate.
UVa then tacked on three runs in the eighth inning. Barr legged out a triple to start the inning and scored on a Swab single. Gosselin later hit a sacrifice fly and Cannon drilled his second RBI double of the evening.
JMU scored a pair of runs in the ninth on a Billy Logan RBI pinch-hit single and a Bladel bases-loaded walk. The Dukes loaded the bases with two out and had the potential tying run in the on-deck circle when Arico entered the game and fanned Knight to wrap up the game.
Virginia is back at Davenport Field at 6 p.m. Wednesday when it plays host to Radford.