Walkoff single lifts #1 UVa.
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Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.) hit a walkoff single to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning to break a three-all tie and propel the top-ranked Virginia baseball team to a 4-3 win over Clemson on Friday night at Davenport Field. Virginia (19-3, 6-1 ACC) won its seventh straight game, while Clemson (17-5, 6-1), ranked as high as No. 5 nationally this week, dropped its third consecutive contest.
With one out and the bases loaded against Clemson reliever David Haselden, Bruno singled over the drawn-in infield and just inside the left-field line to score Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) with the winning run. Bruno, UVa’s nine-hole hitter, also smacked a two-run home run in the fifth inning, which tied the game at three. He finished 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.
Virginia’s Tyler Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the year. He retired the final seven batters he faced to keep the Tigers at bay. Haselden took the loss and fell to 2-1.
Virginia starting pitcher Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) battled through some uncharacteristic control problems to pitch six innings, allowing three earned runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out six. Five of his six strikeouts came over his final three innings.
Despite his control problems Hultzen pushed through and minimized the damage all evening. In all, the Tigers left 10 runners on base against UVa’s pitchers, including seven in scoring position.
Clemson starter Casey Harman worked seven innings, giving up three earned runs and five hits while striking out three. He did not walk a batter.
Tyler Cannon (Sr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) had a pair of hits for Virginia to extend his hit streak to a career-best 14 games. John Barr (Jr., Ivyland, Pa.) also had a single to stretch his hit streak to 10 games, also a career long.
In the ninth inning, Parker singled to left to lead off. Pinch hitter Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) then laid down a bunt down the third-base line, which Haselden fielded, but Werman beat out the throw. Barr then put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and Franco Valdes (Sr., Miami, Fla.) was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up the force play at any base. Bruno then blooped his single over outstretched third baseman John Hinson to plate Parker with the winning run.
Virginia got on the board in the first inning as Cannon cranked a solo home run off the facade of the bleachers in left-center field. It marked Cannon’s first home run of the year and his fourth career long ball.
Clemson came back with a pair of runs in the second. Hultzen struggled with his control, giving up a pair of walks to load the bases after Kyle Parker’s leadoff single. With two out, Will Lamb blooped a 3-2 Hultzen pitch down the left-field line, scoring Parker and Wilson Boyd to push the Tigers ahead, 2-1.
The Tigers put runners on second and third with one out in the fourth inning, but Hultzen escaped the jam. He was not as fortunate in the fifth inning, as the Tigers tacked on a run when Jeff Schaus, Parker and Boyd hit consecutive two-out singles to bring home a run.
Virginia knotted the game in the bottom of the fifth, as Barr led off with a single up the middle and one out later Bruno ripped an 0-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers for a two-run home run. It was Bruno’s third homer of the season.
In the seventh, Bruno hit a towering fly ball to left center, and Schaus, with his back against the wall, reached above the fence to snare to ball and keep the game tied while rebuffing Bruno’s bid for a two-home run game.
Because of the threat of inclement weather on Sunday (March 28), games two and three of the Virginia-Clemson baseball series have been rescheduled. Saturday’s game was originally scheduled to start at 4 p.m. It will now start at 3:30 p.m. The third game of the series, originally scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Sunday, has been moved to Saturday (March 27). It will start approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game.
The first game will be broadcast on 1070 WINA-AM as well as VirginiaSports.com (with V Pass subscription).
Each game of the baseball series will be a separately ticketed event, with tickets for the Sunday game valid for the second game Saturday. The seating areas will be cleared between games; fans attending both games will need tickets for each contest and will be re-admitted at the bottom of the stadium seating areas shortly after the conclusion of Saturday’s first game.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early purchase tickets in advance for all athletic events to avoid lines at the facilities’ ticket windows. Tickets can be ordered in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium, by phone at (800) 542-8821 and online at VirginiaSports.com. Advance ticket sales online end four hours prior to each game.
In addition to the home baseball games Saturday, the UVa men’s lacrosse team will face Johns Hopkins at noon at Klockner Stadium. That contest should end at approximately 2:15 p.m. Because of an event taking place at John Paul Jones Arena Saturday, parking will be extremely limited in the immediate area.
Free parking will be available Saturday in the University Hall lots as well as the Emmet-Ivy Garage off Ivy Road, Culbreth Garage off University Avenue, the Central Grounds Garage off Emmet Street, and at The Park at North Grounds off Massie Road. The JPJA surface lot and parking garage will not be available for Saturday.
General Admission seating is available in the grandstand and left-field bleachers as well as the grass hillside and the new bleachers located along the right-field line. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and older) and faculty/staff (limit two per faculty/staff). Advance ticket sales online end four hours prior to the game.
Reserved tickets, if available, are $9 for adults and $5 for UVa faculty/staff, and will be sold beginning two hours prior to the game at the Davenport Field ticket windows. General Admission ticket holders may also upgrade to Reserved seating for $4 per ticket, subject to availability.