UVa., JMU play to 4-4 tie

The Virginia baseball team played James Madison to a 4-4 tie Saturday night in miserable conditions at the Caravelle Resort Tournament at BB&T Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The final four innings were played in a steady rain, and the game was called in the top of the ninth inning because of poor field conditions.

There were only seven hits in the game, with UVa finishing with four and JMU three. Virginia committed its first three errors of the year, leading to a pair of unearned runs for JMU (0-2-1).

Virginia starting pitcher Scott Silverstein (Sr., Olney, Md.) worked 5.0 innings, allowing two runs (one earned), no hits and three walks while striking out four. UVa (1-1-1) did not allow a hit for the first 7.1 innings before giving up three in the eighth. JMU starting pitcher Patrick Toohers fired 5.0 innings, allowing an earned run, two hits and a walk while striking out one.

Former Waynesboro General Colin Harrington (Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) had a single and two RBI for UVa. Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) tripled and scored a pair of runs.

Neither team recorded a hit until the fourth inning when Bruno tripled to center field with two outs. Mike Papi (Fr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) followed with a double to left-center field to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 edge.

The Dukes bounced back with two runs in their half of the fourth, despite failing to record a hit. With one out and the bases loaded (two walks and a hit by pitch), Bradley Shaban grounded to second baseman Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.), who booted the ball, allowing Cole McInturff and Ty McFarland to score.

UVa knotted the score in the seventh, taking advantage of a walk and two hit batsmen to load the bases. Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Harrington.

The Cavaliers forged ahead in the top of the eighth. Reliever Chris Huffman walked Reed Gragnani (Jr., Richmond, Va.) and hit Bruno with a pitch to start the inning. He was replaced on the mound by right fielder Johnny Bladel, who got Papi to pop out and another former Waynesboro General, Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.), to hit a check-swing grounder to first, moving the runners up a base. Harrington then grounded a ball up the middle, scoring both runners to give UVa a 4-2 lead. After Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch, Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) lined a single to left, but Harrington was thrown out at the plate.

JMU came right back in the bottom of the eighth. Goss reached on a leadoff error, and McInturff followed with the Dukes’ first hit, a single to right, which moved McInturff to third. On the play, UVa tried to throw behind the runner rounding first base and the throw was errant, allowing Goss to score and McInturff to move up a base. Bladel then singled up the middle, plating McInturff to tie the game. JMU had its own opportunity to take the lead when McFarland doubled to deep center field, but the Cavaliers’ relay to the plate of Gragnani to Taylor to Irving was perfect to throw out Bladel and keep the tie intact.

Virginia opens its home schedule at 3 p.m. Tuesday when it entertains William and Mary.


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