Virginia baseball edges Duke on mound

No. 3 Cavaliers score seven runs, allow six in weekend series


Junior first baseman Mike Papi batted leadoff in Virginia’s win. He finished 2-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.

The No. 3 Virginia baseball team won two of three games against Duke this weekend in Durham, N.C. in the first conference series of the year for each ball club. The Cavaliers and Blue Devils played a trio of low-scoring, one-run ballgames. The teams split a Saturday doubleheader before Virginia captured the Sunday rubber, 2-1.

Virginia (11-3, 2-1 ACC) started Saturday with a 3-2 win behind sophomore lefthander Nathan Kirby’s six shutout innings and balanced, timely hitting. Kirby (4-0) limited Duke to one hit while recording a career-high nine strikeouts against one free pass. The Cavaliers scored one run each in the second, sixth and seventh innings, the last when junior first baseman Mike Papi took sophomore reliever Nick Hendrix deep for his third home run of the year. Virginia plated each of its runs with two outs, and seven Cavaliers had a hit.

The Blue Devils (8-7, 1-2 ACC) claimed the back end of the doubleheader by the same score. Junior right-hander Andrew Istler stymied the Cavalier offense with eight innings of two-run baseball. Virginia sophomore right-hander Josh Sborz (3-1) struggled with his command, issuing eight walks in three and two-thirds innings. Freshman shortstop Daniel Pinero had two of Virginia’s six hits for the game.

Sophomore left-hander Brandon Waddell (3-1) won a pitchers’ duel in Sunday’s finale, completing six innings and fanning seven Blue Devils. His Duke counterpart, sophomore right-hander James Marvel, yielded two runs, one earned, in seven innings. The Cavaliers scored both their runs on one play in the second. Junior catcher Nate Irving hit a sacrifice fly to score sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy from third, and junior designated hitter Nick Howard ran home when Duke backstop Mike Rosenfeld threw high of second base.

Virginia returns to Davenport Field this Tuesday for a matchup with James Madison.

Published March 10, 2014 in Sports

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