Virginia dominates season-opening series
The No. 25 Virginia baseball team swept East Carolina in its season-opening series in Greenville, N.C., largely due to its potent offensive production. The Cavaliers topped the Pirates 14-4 Friday and 13-9 Saturday before the Sunday finale was cancelled due to weather.
The Cavaliers (2-0, 0-0 ACC) opened their season on a high note Friday as sophomore infielder and designated hitter Kenny Towns launched a grand slam in the top of the first inning to give the team an early 4-0 lead.
On the mound, lefty freshman Brandon Waddell had a strong showing in his first collegiate start, giving up two runs in four and two-thirds innings. He was relieved by fellow freshman Josh Sborz, who gave up one run in two and one-third innings and recorded the win. Towns added a second grand slam in the seventh inning — part of an eight-run outburst for the team — and finished the game with eight RBIs, the most for a Cavalier since Brandon Guyer’s nine in 2007 against Niagara.
In Saturday’s game, Virginia fell behind early as the Pirates (0-2, 0-0 C-USA) scored two runs in the both the second and fourth innings to take a 4-0 lead. In the last four innings of the game, however, the Cavalier offense exploded for 13 runs. Sophomore left fielder Derek Fisher went 3-5 with five RBIs, including a 3-run homer, and freshman right fielder Joe McCarthy went 3-4 with four RBIs. Redshirt junior Whit Mayberry picked up the win in relief of redshirt senior Scott Silverstein, who pitched five innings. East Carolina mounted a comeback with five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off freshman reliever Nathan Kirby, but the Cavaliers’ lead proved to be insurmountable and the team came away with the 13-9 victory.
Virginia has its home opener at Davenport Field Monday against St. Peter’s, followed by a Tuesday matchup against William & Mary.
—compiled by Michael Eilbacher