The No. 3 Virginia baseball team scored eight runs in its final three trips to the plate in defeating Duke, 8-1, Sunday at Davenport Field. Virginia took two-of-three games in the series and now has won four-consecutive ACC series as it reaches the midway point of the conference schedule.
"It was very important to come out and win today to win the series," Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor said. "We're 10-5 now and in great position in the league. If we can repeat on the back half of the schedule what we did in the first half, we'll be in a good shape. We were disappointed yesterday in our play but it is always tough to sweep in the ACC and it was nice to see us come out and play well today. Sean Doolittle came out and did a great job after the first inning of keeping our team in the game."
Doolittle (Tabernacle, N.J.) was strong on the mound, allowing just an unearned run, four hits and a walk over six innings. Doolittle (6-2) also struck out two. Virginia relievers Michael Schwimer (Alexandria, Va.) and Casey Lambert (Harrisonburg, Va.) combined for three hitless innings to seal the victory.
Michael Ness (3-2) absorbed the loss for Duke after giving up three runs (one earned), two hits and a walk during his relief stint in the sixth inning.
Brandon Guyer (Herndon, Va.) was the hitting star for the Cavaliers (29-7, 10-5 ACC), going 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, two runs scored and three RBI. He also extended his hitting streak to a career-long 21 games, passing the previous team best of 20 set by Greg Miclat (Concord, N.C.). Tyler Cannon (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and Beau Seabury (Mount Vernon, Wash.) added two hits apiece. As a team, the Cavaliers did not strike out in the game.
Duke (22-13, 3-12) scored an unearned run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by catcher Matt Williams, and the score stayed that way through five innings as Doolittle and Duke starting pitcher Jonathon Anderson locked up in a pitchers' duel. Anderson allowed just three hits in five scoreless innings, but he was pulled after the fifth in favor of Ness.
In the sixth, Miclat walked to lead off. Brandon Marsh (Alpharetta, Ga.) then hit a sacrifice bunt, but Williams' throw to first base was errant and went into right field, allowing Miclat to scamper around to score and moving Marsh to second. One out later, Guyer singled to plate Miclat, and after a David Adams (Margate, Fla.) sacrifice, Seabury singled to left to score Guyer and give Virginia a 3-1 lead.
The Cavaliers put the game away with a five-run eighth inning against reliever Kyle Butler. With one out, Doolittle singled and quickly scored when Guyer launched a home run over the Virginia insignia in deep left-center field. One out later, Seabury and Patrick Wingfield (Winchester, Va.) hit back-to-back doubles to produce a run. A Duke fielding error on a sharply-hit ball by Cannon allowed Wingfield to score, and Tim Henry (Fairfield, Conn.) then sent Cannon home with an RBI single to right-center against Duke reliever Ron Causey.
Virginia makes its final non-conference road trip of the year Tuesday, traveling to Richmond, Va., to battle VCU at 7 p.m.
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