CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 7 Virginia baseball team rolled to a 17-3 victory over VCU Tuesday evening in front of 3,162 fans at Davenport Field. Virginia (43-8) finished its 2013 home schedule with a 32-3 record as it scored in double figures for the third straight game.
UVa has scored 48 runs over the last three games, its most in a three-game stretch since March 8-11, 2009, when the Cavaliers tallied 48 against Wake Forest (21), Navy (17) and VMI (10).
The Cavaliers rolled up 17 hits, marking the sixth straight game in which UVa has piled up double-digit hits. In addition to the big hit totals, Virginia batters did not record a strikeout (first time since April 13, 2011, against Coastal Carolina). Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) led the barrage by going 4-for-5 with four RBI, while Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) added three hits and scored three times. Nick Howard (So., Olney, Md.) was 2-for-4 and hit a three-run home run for UVa.
UVa starting pitcher Whit Mayberry (R-Jr., Alexandria, Va.) earned the win and upped his record to 4-0 after working 2 2/3 innings while giving up a pair of runs. Six UVa pitchers combined to limit VCU (25-26) to a run and three hits over the final 6 1/3 innings. The Rams had just two baserunners over the final five innings.
VCU starter Dan Black (0-3) took the loss after allowing four earned runs, three hits and three walks in three innings.
Virginia got off to a great start by scoring four times in the first inning on a McCarthy RBI double, followed three batters later by a three-run home run to left-center field by Howard. It marked Howard’s second long ball of the year.
VCU chipped away at the lead in the third and fourth innings. In the third the Rams got a leadoff single from Trevor Marino, followed by a long double by Walker Haymaker which Papi went over the left-field wall to knock down to keep the ball in the park. Tom Crimi and James Bunn followed with back-to-back run-scoring groundouts.
The Rams cut the lead to 4-3 in the fourth when Marino laid down a two-out bunt single to score Chris Ayers.
UVa got a run back in its half of the fourth. Kenny Towns (So., Burke, Va.) drew a leadoff walk, moved up on a sacrifice by Robbie Coman (Fr., Lake Worth, Fla.) and scored when Papi scalded a single off Marino at first base for a single.
The Cavaliers tacked on a run in the fifth inning. Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) led off with a single, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.).
Virginia then opened up a big lead in the sixth inning, scoring five times to grab an 11-3 advantage. Coman reached base on an error to start the inning and went around to third on a well-executed hit-and-run single by Papi through the hole at shortstop. Jared King (R-Sr., Radford, Va.) followed with a sacrifice fly to right. Reliever Logan Kanuik entered and gave up a single to McCarthy followed by a two-run double by Downes. Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.) then laced an RBI single to left, extending his hit streak to 10 games. Howard then singled, moving Fisher to third. UVa scored its final run of the inning when Gragnani fouled out to first. Howard tagged up on the play and forced a rundown, with Fisher scoring before Howard was tagged out.
UVa scored four more times against Kanuik in the seventh inning. King singled to right to score Towns, and McCarthy followed with a two-run single to bring in Coman and Papi. Pinch hitter Rob Bennie (Fr., Stroudsburg, Pa.) grounded into a double play to score King with the fourth run.
The Cavaliers tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth against Jordan Storey. After back-to-back singles by John LaPrise (Fr., Exton, Pa.) and George Ragsdale (Fr., North Port, Fla.) to start the inning, Thomas Woodruff (So., Clifton, Va.) walked to load the bases. Two outs later, King walked to force in a run, and McCarthy followed with a run-scoring single to center.
Virginia finished the regular season with a composite attendance of 102,410 over 34 dates, an average of 3,012 fans per game. UVa eclipsed the 100,000 mark in total attendance for the fourth straight year.
The Cavaliers travel No. 2 North Carolina Thursday through Saturday to complete the ACC schedule. UVa trails UNC by one game in the Coastal Division standings heading into the final weekend of the regular season.