Baseball erupts for win over William and Mary
The last time the Virginia baseball team took on its in-state rival William and Mary, the Tribe knocked the Cavaliers out of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in a stunning defeat on Virginia’s home field. No. 12 Virginia (8-0) got some retribution Tuesday night, pummeling William and Mary (3-4) 11-3 in a rainy matchup on Davenport Field.
The first two innings of the game had the looks of a pitcher’s duel, like many of Virginia’s game’s have in the early going. The scoreless tie was broken by William and Mary freshman outfielder Brandon Raquet, who belted a two-run homer over the right field fence with two outs in the top of the third inning. The Cavaliers would get a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning after graduate catcher Robbie Coman drove in junior outfielder Adam Haseley on a sac fly. However, that was all Virginia could muster against sophomore pitcher Nick Raquet in his five innings of work.
The frustration for the Cavaliers continued after they left a runner on third base in the bottom of the sixth, but after that the Virginia bats came to life with a jolt. Sophomore outfielder Jake McCarthy put Virginia in front with a two-run triple in the seventh inning, and power hitters Haseley and junior first baseman Pavin Smith followed with back-to-back homers to break the game open.
When the smoke cleared, the Cavaliers had an 8-1 advantage after the seventh inning. Smith would add a two-run single in the eighth inning for insurance, and the back end of Virginia’s bullpen shut down the Tribe to secure the Cavaliers’ eighth win in their undefeated season.
Smith led Virginia with three RBIs on two hits. Junior pitcher Derek Casey threw a solid five innings — the only blip being Raquet’s homer — as he struck out two batters and walked one. Senior reliever Alec Bettinger pitched a solid 2.2 innings in relief of Casey, allowing only one run to the Tribe to solidify the victory.
Virginia has impressed with its potent offense thus far, averaging 10.75 runs per game to start the season. The Cavaliers play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday when La Salle University and Niagara University come to Davenport Field.