UVA baseball blasts Liberty, 14-3

liberty baseballThe Virginia Cavaliers ended the Liberty Flames’ five-game winning streak with a 14-3 victory, Wednesday evening at Davenport Field at Disharoon Stadium.

Liberty third baseman Tyler Galazin collected his second three-hit game of the year in the contest. The third baseman went 3-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored in the contest.

Seeing its longest winning streak of the season come to an end, Liberty falls to 22-13, dropping only its second midweek game of 2018. The Flames, 6-2 in midweek tilts, had won five straight since falling at Elon, 4-3, on Feb. 28. Virginia raises its record to 22-16 on the year.

Virginia jumped out to an early lead in second, plating four runs with two out. Designated hitter Brendan Rivoli opened the home half of the inning with a single and moved to second with one out on a wild pitch. Two batters later, third baseman Justin Novak dropped a two-out single into left field, scoring Rivoli with the game’s first run. Shortstop Tanner Morris followed with a single on which Liberty center fielder D.J. Artis overthrew third base attempting to get Novak, allowing him to come home for a 2-0 edge.

After center fielder Cayman Richardson walked and a Flames pitching change, second baseman Andy Weber, who had three hits in the game, lined a double off the right-center field wall to give the Cavaliers a 4-0 lead.

Liberty scored its first run of the game in the fourth. Second baseman Trey McDyre walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. Two batters later, McDyre moved to third on a ground out by designated hitter Logan Mathieu and scored on a two-out opposite-field single to right field by Galazin.

Another Flames’ error with two out in the fifth, allowed the Cavaliers to extend their advantage back to four runs. With two outs, first baseman Nate Eikhoff drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Right fielder Alex Tappen grounded to shortstop, but Liberty’s Cam Locklear’s throw was wide of the bag, permitting Eikhoff to come home for a 5-1 lead.

Liberty cut its deficit two in the top of the sixth. With one out, Mathieu lined a double into the right field corner and moved to third on a single by Galazin. First baseman Dylan Allen followed with a double into the right-center field gap, plating both runners and trimming the Virginia lead to 5-3.

In the bottom of the sixth, Virginia answered with a run of its own to push its advantage to three. Three walks loaded the bases with one out for Richardson, who lifted a RBI sacrifice fly, extending the Cavaliers’ lead to 6-3.

Virginia pulled away with two home runs in the seventh. With two men aboard, catcher Cameron Comer hit his second home run of the season for a 9-3 lead. Later in the inning, Morris connected for a two-run home run, his second homer of the year, for a commanding 11-3 lead.

The Cavaliers added three more in the eighth for the final score.

Liberty starter Mason Hand drops to 1-1 on the season. Making his first start in a Flames’ uniform, the freshman right-hander gave up four runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings. The first of eight Liberty pitchers in the contest, he struck out one and walked two.

Virginia freshman Kyle Whitten moves to 2-0 on the year. In his first career start, the right-hander allowed one run on one hit over 4 2/3-plus innings. The right-hander struck out a career-high six and walked four.

Liberty had seven hits in the contest and committed the game’s only two errors. Virginia collected 11 hits.


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