King’s three-run homer rallies UVa. past Coastal Carolina
The Virginia baseball team exploded for nine runs during its final four trips to the plate in a 9-3 win at Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon in the Caravelle Resort Tournament at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field in Conway, S.C. The overflow crowd of 1,635 was a regular-season record for Coastal.
Because of incoming inclement weather, UVa (1-1) is currently playing James Madison at BB&T Coastal Field. That game originally was scheduled for noon Sunday.
Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) and Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) each hit three-run home runs to rally the Cavaliers and then break the game open. King, a 2010 member of the Waynesboro Generals Valley League team, went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBI to lead the Virginia offense. Mike Papi (Fr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) had a pair of hits and reached base four times, while Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) also recorded two hits.
Virginia starting pitcher Whit Mayberry (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) worked 6.0 strong innings to earn the win. He allowed two earned runs and six hits while striking out four. He did not issue a walk. UVa’s defense was strong behind the Cavalier pitchers, turning five double plays.
UVa did all of its damage against the Chanticleer bullpen. Patrick Corbett took the loss for Coastal after giving up the three-run blast to King in the seventh. Coastal starting pitcher Josh Conway worked 5.0 shutout innings for Coastal. He allowed three hits and five walks while striking out a pair. Coastal pitchers surrendered 12 walks and hit three batters.
After failing to get a runner past first base through four innings, Coastal (1-1) got to Mayberry in the fifth inning as Daniel Bowman led off with a single and Bryce Dial homered to left-center.
UVa cut the lead in half in the sixth, getting back-to-back singles from Papi and King to start the inning and loading the bases with none out when Gragnani’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away by pitcher Aaron Burke. One out later Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) drew a four-pitch walk against reliever Austin Kerr to force in Papi. Kerr then fanned Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.), and the third reliever of the inning, Patrick Corbett, struck out Taylor looking to maintain the lead.
The Cavaliers left nine runners on base through the first six innings before the offense started firing. With one out Bruno singled and Irving walked. King then launched a three-run homer over the left-field wall to give UVa its first lead of the day.
The Cavaliers opened things up with a five-run eighth inning. After back-to-back walks to Irving and Werman to start the inning, Taylor cranked a three-run blast to left to push the UVa lead to 7-2. King and Colin Harrington (Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) added run-scoring singles with two outs in the inning.
Coastal added a final run in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Sloan Gilliam.