No. 1 national seed Virginia blanked UC Irvine 6-0 in front of 5,050 fans at Davenport Field Saturday afternoon.
Danny Hultzen and Cody Winiarski combined for the shutout, the Cavaliers’ NCAA-leading 16th of the season. Jared King led Virginia offensively, going 3-for-4, including a 3-run homer. Chris Taylor and Steven Proscia each had two hits for the Cavaliers. Sean Madigan reached base three times to lead UC Irvine, drawing three walks.
Game two of the best-of-three series is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. at Davenport Field. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
Hultzen worked around a rain delay to go 5.1 innings, allowing three hits, to pick up the win and improve to 12-3 this season. Winiarski pitched the final 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit, to record his first career save. Matt Summers took the loss for the Anteaters (42-17), allowing a career-high five runs on nine hits in 6.0 innings, to fall to 11-3 this season.
The Cavaliers (53-9) took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third. Keith Werman drew a leadoff walk and Taylor followed with a single. After both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt, Werman scored the game’s first run on an infield single by John Hicks. Taylor scored on Hultzen’s two-out single to right to make the score 2-0.
In the top of the fourth, there was a one-hour, 24-minute rain delay.
Following the delay, Virginia extended the lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Kenny Swab and David Coleman each singled with one out. King followed with a towering three-run homer down the left-field line, his second homer of the season and in his career. King’s first home run this year also was dramatic – a walk-off home run in the 11th inning against Florida State on March 20.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Cavaliers scored one more run to take a 6-0 lead. Hicks reached on a two-base error when his fly ball was dropped by the centerfielder. He came around to score on Swab’s two-out RBI single.