No. 1 Baseball outmuscles James Madison
McCarthy, Papi combine for two home runs and eight RBI in road win
The Virginia baseball team Tuesday night defeated in-state rival James Madison 9-3 in Harrisonburg — Virginia’s second win against the Dukes in 2014. The No. 1 Cavaliers (28-5, 12-3 ACC) were powered at the plate by sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy and junior left fielder Mike Papi, who each swatted a home run and finished the game with four RBI.
Virginia jumped on James Madison junior right-hander Ben Garner for a pair of first-inning runs, with freshman shortstop Daniel Pinero drawing a one-out walk before McCarthy launched a mammoth blast past the fence in right-center field.
Garner departed after taking a line drive off the body in the final at-bat of the first inning, but the Dukes’ next two relievers, freshman left-hander Michael Evans and redshirt junior right-hander Michael Howerton, did not fare far better. The Cavaliers tagged them for six runs on eight hits and five walks in their four innings of work.
The Virginia arms, meanwhile, muted the James Madison bats for eight innings. Freshman right-hander Alec Bettinger tossed four scoreless frames to pick up his fourth win of the year, and senior right-hander Artie Lewicki continued his return to pre-injury form, striking out five Dukes in three hitless innings of work. Redshirt senior right-hander Whit Mayberry worked a perfect eighth.
Sophomore third baseman John La Prise kept up his torrid offensive pace by reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. Junior center fielder Brandon Downes had two hits and two walks. Papi is now batting .330 with six home runs and 30 RBI on the year, all high-water marks among the everyday starters.