UVA-Bucknell Charlottesville Regional postgame notes, quotes
• The Cavaliers have won six consecutive regional openers dating back to 2008.
• With his RBI-single in the first inning, junior first basemen Mike Papi extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
• The UVa first baseman collected hits in his next two at-bats, starting the game 3-for-3 and finished the game 3-for-5.
• After walking two of the first four hitters he faced, senior Artie Lewicki retired nine consecutive hitters and struck out the side in the second frame, before allowing the first Bucknell hit in the fourth.
• UVa scored runs in each of its first three innings to a take a 3-0 lead, getting an RBI each from Papi and Branden Cogswell.
• Virginia’s leadoff hitters reached base each of the first seven innings. The Cavaliers leadoff hitters went 6-for-7 in the first seven frames.
• Virginia saw three different hitters pick up an RBI in the seven-run sixth inning, highlighted by junior Derek Fisher’s two-run single up the middle. Juniors Brandon Downes and Kenny Townes also added RBI singles in the frame.
• Lewicki tied a career high with his seven-inning start, which the right-hander has reached three times this season. Lewicki tossed 7.0 frames allowing three hits, walking three and striking out five Bison.
• Virginia pitchers struck out five of the nine Bison in the starting lineup, striking out three hitters twice.
• UVa committed no errors for the 29th time this season. In those games the Cavaliers are 24-5.
• All of Virginia’s 11 hits were singles; neither team recorded an extra base hit.
• UVa out hit its opponent for the 37th time this season, with a record of 34-3 in those contests.
• Virginia is now 31-1 when holding opponents under two runs.
• Five different Cavaliers posted an RBI in the game (Cogswell, Papi, Fisher, Towns and Downes).
BUCKNELL POST-GAME NOTES
• The Bison have lost five straight post-season games dating back to 2008, and have an all-time record of 1-11.
• Junior starter Bryson Hough went 5.0+ innings for the Bison allowing one earned run of the six put on the board by Virginia. Hough took the loss after giving up six hits and striking out one Cavalier, falling to 8-4 on the year.
• Bucknell committed four errors on the day; marking the 17th time the Bison have committed two or more errors in a game, with a miscue occurring in the first three innings. In those contests Bucknell is 5-12-1.
• The Bison used three different pitchers in the sixth frame that saw Virginia score seven unearned runs on five hits.
• In the two frames following the seven-run sixth the Bison allowed one hit and faced the minimum six Cavaliers.
• Bucknell scored its lone run in the top of the eighth after a Connor Jones wild pitch with the bases loaded.
• Junior right fielder Anthony Gingerelli posted the lone multiple-hit day for the Bison, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate.
• For the second time in three games Bucknell managed just one run.
• The Bison recorded four hits in the contest, over the past four games Bucknell has not eclipsed the four hit plateau.
• Neither team recorded an extra base hit on the afternoon.
University of Virginia Quotes
Virginia Coach Brian O’Connor Opening Statement: “Any time you play the first game of a regional, there are obviously a few nerves and jitters, but I thought our guys handled it well. After the first inning, Artie Lewicki really settled down and pitched a tremendous ballgame for us. That is what we needed in game one. We needed our starter to go out there and pitch deep into the game and he certainly did. You all were probably wondering after the first four or five innings if we were trying to set a record for sacrifice bunts in an NCAA game. I’m not quite sure what the record is, but we were going for it. We just had a lot of innings where we had the leadoff guy on and we were trying to move him over and knock him in. It worked the first three innings where we were able to get single runs, but we couldn’t come up with that extra hit with two runs to get a multiple-run inning. But I’m really proud of our guys in the sixth inning. We were very opportunistic and opened it up. I thought we played a really good baseball game in game one and we are looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”
On bunting against Bucknell “That was not our plan going into the game. We didn’t have any information that they didn’t handle the bunt really well. It was purely situational inning by inning. This year we hadn’t gotten a leadoff runner on as frequently as we did in this ballgame. We did that really well. The game tells us what to do. We have a lot of confidence in our pitching and defense. You look at our scores throughout this year and it doesn’t take a lot of runs for us to win a game. As the home team, we had to make sure we capitalized on every opportunity we had. They mishandled some balls and that lends itself to maybe it is something that we continue to do. I was really impressed with our lineup today. Their starter has won eight games. He is difficult to hit with his arm angle and his slider that he throws. If you look at our lineup, one through nine, even if they didn’t have a hit, everyone in our lineup did something offensive to help our team win today. Daniel Pinero may not have had a hit but he moved some runs over and put them in scoring position to give other guys an opportunity to drive them in.”
On the performance of Artie Lewicki “It would be misleading if I didn’t tell you I was a little bit concerned during that first inning. I know what Artie is made of and I knew that he would come back. I went down and told him after the first inning that no matter what happens, let it rip. His velocity during the first inning wasn’t what it was in the innings two through seven. I just said go out there and throw hard and let the chips fall where they may. After seeing him in the second inning, I was confident that he was going to give us a good quality start.”
Artie Lewicki On what pitching coach Karl Kuhn said to after the first inning “He told me to settle down on the mound in between the first and second innings. He pulled me underneath and said he was going to take me off his Christmas card list if I didn’t go out and start competing and going after the hitters. So I think afterwards I started to let it rip and challenge batters.”
On if he felt nervous at the start of the game “There weren’t any nerves; I think I was just trying to nibble a little too much. I felt okay. I treated it like it was any other game. I just wanted to go out and give my team the best opportunity to win.”
Mike Papi On winning the game so decisively today “Our offense had a great game today and the past three practices this week our offense was hitting extremely well and really looking forward into coming into a game from the ACC series and being able to show what our offense can do.
On being more aggressive offensively “I think that was more situational. Part of what we pride ourselves on is being more aggressive and putting a lot of pressure on other teams. So I think if we were going to be a great team then everyone needs to buy into being more aggressive and swinging at pitches that are maybe borderline useful instead of taking them and being more selective.”
Nate Irving On the amount of times he was asked to sacrifice bunt “It is something that we do in practice every week and it is part of who we are offensively and what we do. We take a lot of pride in getting a bunt down and moving a teammate over.”
On the performance of Artie Lewicki “When Artie pitches aggressively, there is a demeanor to him that you can’t really stop him. He’s going to go straight through you. Like he said, I think he was trying to nibble a little too much. He was trying to be a little too careful. In a game like this, especially an NCAA tournament game with a really good team on the other side, all you can do is be aggressive and put your best stuff out there. The results will take care of themselves.”
On what the team needs to do well in order to win the regional “We’re going to be tough, hard-nosed, and aggressive. We are going to take it to the other team no matter what and no matter who is on the other side. We’re going to play the game the way we were taught to play the game no matter what. That has been consistent for us in the clubhouse no matter what has happened this year.”
Bucknell University Quotes
Bucknell Coach Scott Heather
Opening Statement: “The biggest story of the game was defense. We can’t give a team like Virginia extra runs. The disappointing part of it was that they were not difficult plays, but plays that we have made all year. I think nerves got the better of us early and we played young a little bit. Bryson (Hough) threw the ball really well. He was on his game and made a lot of quality pitches. If we had made the plays behind him, it would have been a different story.”
On Bryson Hough: “I think he got better from the second inning on. He had a close call at first that didn’t go our way and he was able to pitch out of that. He missed the opportunity, but he was tough after that. He started to settle in and was throwing harder after the first inning and made a lot of good pitches.”
On pitching: “We have built pitching depth throughout the year. When you lose the first game in a double elimination tournament, you are going to need to go deep into your pitching staff. It is all hands on deck from now on, so a lot of them are prepared to play tomorrow.”
On Virginia’s seven run streak: “They are going to put pressure on you. That is how their offense is built. They executed every time they needed to. They got their bunts down and they were getting out of the box ready to run. They are always trying to put added pressure on with their bunts. We got off to a slow start and couldn’t break that streak. I think after that seven-run inning, we played more like we are capable of.”
Starting Pitcher Bryson Hough On focusing with a struggling defense: “You would think it is hard to focus, but it is not. You just have to keep telling yourself that you need to keep letting them hit ground balls and doing what you are doing. If we don’t make the plays, it is okay because I make mistakes too, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
On bunts: “We have seen a lot of bunts and have practiced them a lot, as well, so we weren’t unprepared. We just didn’t execute well.”
On pressure from Virginia “It didn’t help that I often I gave hits to the lead-off batter. That automatically makes everyone play on their feet and feel a little more tense because there is always a runner on. They were aggressive with the first and second pitches. Preventing the lead off batter from getting on has been preached all season and I did not do that very well today.”
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