May 16, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The top-ranked Virginia baseball team split a doubleheader Friday against Wake Forest at Wake Forest Baseball Park. The Demon Deacons rallied from a three-run deficit in the ninth inning of Game 1 to win 6-5 in 10 innings, but Virginia responded with a 7-2 triumph in the nightcap.
The teams will play the rubber game of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday. That contest marks the conclusion of the ACC and regular seasons for Virginia (43-10, 22-7 ACC) and Wake Forest (29-25, 14-15).
Behind seven shutout innings from Artie Lewicki (Sr., Wyckoff, N.J.), Virginia rolled to a 7-2 win in the second game of the doubleheader. UVa exploded for 17 hits in the victory - its most hits in an ACC game this season.
Robbie Coman (So., Lake Worth, Fla.) went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI in the second game, while Mike Papi (Jr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning to jump start the Cavaliers' offense.
Lewicki (5-1) allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out three in his first ACC start since May 19, 2012, at Maryland. Josh Sborz (So., McLean, Va.) worked the final two innings to wrap up the win. Matt Pirro (2-2) took the loss for Wake after allowing a pair of runs in three innings of relief. Wake starting pitcher Aaron Fossas worked out of trouble in his three innings to hold UVa scoreless, despite allowing six hits.
Virginia left nine runners on base in the first four innings, but finally came up with a clutch hit in the sixth inning when Papi cranked a two-out, two-run home run to right field, scoring John La Prise (So., Exton, Pa.). The blast was Papi's ninth home run of the year, giving him the ACC lead.
The Cavaliers broke things open in the seventh inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring five times against reliever John McCarren. After a leadoff walk to Joe McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) and a single by Derek Fisher (Jr., Rexmont, Pa.), Kenny Towns (Jr., Burke, Va.) singled home a run. Branden Cogswell (Jr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) then beat out a bunt and when the throw to first was errant, Fisher scampered home. One batter later, Coman launched a two-run triple to left-center to push the lead to 6-0. Pinch hitter Matt Thaiss (Fr., Jackson, N.J.) then singled to center to bring in the fifth run of the inning.
Wake Forest got solo home runs in the ninth inning from pinch hitter Joe Napolitano and Nate Mondou to break up the shutout.
Wake Forest stunned the Cavaliers in Game 1, scoring three times in the ninth inning to tie the game and then walking off in the 10th inning on Conor Keniry's RBI single in a 6-5 win. It marked the first time this year that Virginia lost a game when holding a lead after four innings (32-0 prior).
Towns recorded a pair of RBI doubles, while Fisher added two hits for UVa, which finished with eight hits.
Virginia closer Nick Howard (Jr., Olney, Md.) took the defeat after allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning. Howard (3-1) allowed just his second home run of the year while blowing a save for only the second time in 19 attempts this year. Wake Forest reliever Parker Dunshee (4-1) notched the win after recording the final two outs of the 10th inning.
Virginia starting pitcher Nathan Kirby (So., Midlothian, Va.) gave the Cavaliers yet another strong start. He fired 7 1/3 innings and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. Kirby allowed two runs (one earned), four hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Wake Forest starter Jack Fischer worked 7 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned), six hits and three walks while fanning nine.
Wake Forest scored a run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. With one out Grant Shambley walked and after Kirby issued two wild pitches, Charlie Morgan flied out to deep right field to score the run.
The Cavaliers countered with a run in the second inning. Cogswell drew a two-out walk, moved to third on a La Prise double to left and scored on a wild pitch.
Wake scored in the bottom of the inning. After leadoff batter Will Craig singled and moved to second on a throwing error by shortstop Daniel Pinero (Fr., Toronto, Ontario), Joey Rodriguez stroked a one-out RBI single to center.
UVa immediately responded again in the third, scoring twice. Pinero and McCarthy drew two-out walks. Fisher then singled in a run, and Towns followed with a run-scoring double.
The Cavaliers added a pair of runs in the eighth inning. Pinero reached on an error by Keniry at shortstop to open the inning. One out later, facing reliever Max Tishman, Fisher drew a walk. Towns then lined a run-scoring double to right, and Cogswell dragged a safety squeeze bunt down the first-baseline to plate Towns.
Wake Forest tied the game with three runs in the ninth inning. Facing Whit Mayberry (R-Sr., Alexandria, Va.) with one out, Keniry launched a solo home run to right-center. Mayberry struck out Joey Rodriguez. Howard entered with a 1-0 count against Ben Breazeale and gave up a double before pinch hitter Nate Mondou launched the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall for a two-run, game-tying home run.
The Demon Deacons pulled out the win in the 10th inning, loading the bases with one out before Keniry bounced a single into right field.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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