After losing four of their last six games, the Virginia baseball team returned to form at Davenport Field on Friday, beating Bucknell 1-0 in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cavaliers will play Arkansas Saturday at 8 p.m. at Davenport. The Razorbacks were a 3-2 winner over Liberty the nightcap Friday. Liberty and Bucknell will play an elimination game Saturday at 2 p.m.
UVa starter Artie Lewicki improved to 6-1 after throwing seven shutout innings. Lewicki scattered three hits, struck out five and walked three.
Sophomore designated hitter John La Prise and junior first baseman Mike Papi led the Cavalier's offensive attack with three hits each. Junior Brandon Downes added two hits and junior Derek Fisher drove in a pair of runs.
The Cavaliers scored one run in each of the first three innings, opening a 3-0 lead before blowing the game open in the sixth.
In the sixth, La Prise singled up the middle to start the frame. La Prise and Downes, who had been hit by a pitch, both scored on a Bucknell error, putting the Cavaliers up 5-0. Fisher, batting with the bases loaded and two outs, singled to center, driving in a pair of runs to extend Virginia's lead to 7-0. Joe McCarthy scored on a wild pitch, while Kenny Towns singled home Fisher to score the fifth and sixth runs of the frame. La Prise extended the inning with his second single of the frame before Downes drove in Towns to give UVa a 10-0 advantage.
Bucknell scored its lone run in the top of the eighth on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Virginia's Connor Jones, who allowed one hit and two walks in one inning of relief. Freshman right-hander Alec Bettinger struck out the side in the ninth inning.
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