The Virginia baseball team blanked Appalachian State, 8-0, Saturday in the Caravelle Resort Tournament at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach. The Cavaliers (2-0) racked up 15 hits while three pitchers combined on a five-hitter.
“It was a really good win for us,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Daniel Lynch did a tremendous job for us in his first start. I thought he was in complete control and made some really big pitches with runners in scoring position and certainly he showed why we decided to start him tonight. He’s a talented young man. I thought we also did some really good things offensively.”
UVA freshman starter Daniel Lynch (Fr., Henrico, Va.) worked five shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out nine in earning the win. It marked the most strikeouts by a UVA freshman since Alec Bettinger fanned 11 on April 23, 2014, against Richmond. It also was the most strikeouts by a UVA rookie in his college debut in head coach Brian O’Connor’s 13 seasons at Virginia.
The UVA pitching trio of Lynch, Holden Grounds (Jr., Corsicana, Texas) and Jack Roberts (R-So., Richmond, Va.) combined to limit Appalachian State (0-2) to five hits while striking out 18 batters, most by the UVA pitching staff since Nathan Kirby’s 18-strikeout performance on April 4, 2014, in a no-hitter at Pitt. Freshman Seth Hardin (0-1) took the loss for Appalachian State, allowing five runs (one earned), seven hits and two walks over five innings.
Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) doubled twice and went 4-for-4, matching a career high for hits as UVA piled up 15 hits in the win. Daniel Pinero (Jr., Toronto, Ontario) drove in four runs, also matching a career best.
Virginia manufactured the game’s first run in the third inning. Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) hit a leadoff infield single and moved to second when shortstop Henry Davis’s throw sailed into the camera well. Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) grounded to second to move Simmons over, and Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) laid down a bunt single to bring in the run.
UVA added a run in the fourth. Smith doubled down the left-field line to open the inning, moved to third on a Pinero flyout and scored on a Robbie Coman (Sr., Lake Worth, Fla.) groundout to shortstop.
The Cavaliers tacked on more three more runs in the fifth inning on a bases-clearing double from Pinero, which glanced off the glove of diving left fielder Tyler Stroup. UVA was aided by a two-out fielding error by Davis on a Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) grounder. Two batters later, Pinero smacked his double to left-center.
UVA strung together five straight two-out hits in the sixth inning, with Thaiss, Smith and Pinero each recording RBI singles, in a three-run frame to push the lead to 8-0.
Virginia concludes play in the Caravelle Resort Tournament at 1 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 21) when it plays No. 21 Coastal Carolina (1-1) at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. ESPN3 will have the live video broadcast online, while the audio of the game will air on VirginiaSports.com through a Cavaliers Live subscription. A link to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.