#8 UNC tops #23 UVa. before record baseball crowd
The No. 23 Virginia baseball team fell 6-2 to No. 8 North Carolina Saturday afternoon in front of a sold-out, school-record crowd of 5,074 at Davenport Field. The attendance figure snapped the previous record of 5,050, set five times during the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
The attendance figure also topped the regular-season school record of 4,825, set on May 16, 2010, against North Carolina. With the win UNC (26-9, 11-6 ACC) clinched the series and snapped Virginia’s streak of 16-consecutive ACC home series wins, which dated to March 2009.
The series finale is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday. Approximately 1,500 tickets remain for the game; fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at VirginiaSports.com. The Davenport Field ticket windows open at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) led the Cavaliers (23-12-1, 9-8) with three hits, including an RBI double. Virginia finished with seven hits and had runners on base in every inning, including the leadoff batter in seven frames. The Cavaliers left a season-high 15 runners on base, including eight in scoring position.
Virginia starter Scott Silverstein (Sr., Olney, Md.) pitched 3.2 innings, allowing four runs (two earned), three hits and two walks while striking out a pair. He took the loss and fell to 2-4 this year. UVa’s bullpen again pitched well, as Shane Halley (Sr., Burke, Va.) and Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) combined to allow one earned run over 5.1 innings of work.
UNC reliever R.C. Orlan (7-0) earned his second win in as many days after pitching 2.2 innings of relief. North Carolina starting pitcher Chris Munnelly worked 2.0 innings and was pulled after putting the first two batters on in the third. He allowed a run, two hits and four walks.
Virginia tied a season high with four errors in the contest, which led to three unearned runs. The Cavaliers entered the game with an ACC-best .976 fielding percentage.
Virginia struck early with a first-inning run on a Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) sacrifice fly to score Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.).
UNC countered with a pair of runs in the second. With one out Cody Stubbs was hit by a pitch, and Shell McCain followed with a single. Mike Zolk grounded into a fielder’s choice, with McCain called out at second, but the throw to first sailed into the dugout, allowing Stubbs to come home. Adam Griffin followed with a triple to right-center to plate Zolk.
The Tar Heels took advantage of sloppy Virginia defense to score twice more in the third inning. All the damage came after two were out. Tommy Coyle doubled to center, and he scored when Bruno threw away Jacob Stallings’ grounder to third. Stubbs then reached when Mitchell Shifflett (So., Poquoson, Va.) dropped a fly ball to left-center, which allowed Stallings to score.
UNC tacked on a run in the sixth against Halley on a two-out RBI single from Chaz Frank and added an unearned run against Howard in the eighth on another Frank run-scoring single.
Virginia posted its second run in the eighth inning when Bruno doubled home Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.).