The seventh-ranked Virginia baseball team pushed the nation’s longest winning streak to 19 straight as the Cavaliers rallied past fourth-ranked Miami 9-4 on a windy, cold night at Ted Davenport Field.
Trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning, Virginia tied the game when sophomore Jarrett Parker (Stafford, Va.) drilled a line-drive two run homer off Miami All-American pitcher Chris Hernandez (4-1). The shot sailed over the 387-foot marker in left center field. It was Parker’s fourth round-tripper of the year and the first long ball Hernandez had surrendered this season.
Scoring a pair of runs, the Cavaliers took the lead for good in the fifth inning. A sacrifice fly by Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester Pa.) and an RBI-single by Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle N.J.) accounted for both Wahoo runs in the uprising.
Scoring two more in the sixth, Virginia knocked Hernandez from the game. For the game Virginia roughed up Miami star for seven runs and nine hits. The cold weather had a noticeable effect on Hernandez as he was often pitching behind in the count and taking long walks off the mound between pitches.
Virginia catcher Franco Valdes, who hails from Miami, contributed three hits at the plate and seemed to help calm Virginia starter Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda Md.) in the early innings.
Hultzen, who is now a perfect 5-0 as a collegian, was tagged for three early runs but settled down, pitching through the sixth inning. After striking out 13 batters in his last outing against Florida State University, Hultzen, despite acknowledging not having his best control fanned six Hurricanes in his six innings of work.
Virginia coach Brain O’Connor said he was proud of the way his young team remained calm after falling behind early. “It’s hard to imagine that 23 of our 33 players are either freshmen or sophomores,” noted the sixth-year Virginia Head Coach. “‘Early in the game when we fell behind, our players looked confident and relaxed. Of course a lot of that had to be credited to Hultzen for pitching well and keeping us in the game,” added O’Connor.
UVa. (19-0, 5-0 ACC) remains the only undefeated team in NCAA Division 1 this season. The win also marks Virginia’s first 5-0 ACC start in history.
The Cavaliers and Hurricanes continue the three-game series Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
– Story by Scott German