Freshman Mike Papi's first career hit at Davenport Field is one he'll remember for a long time.
Papi's two-run single in the bottom of the 11th completed a Cavalier comeback from four runs down in the eighth, and gave Virginia a 6-5 win over William & Mary in Wednesday's home opener.
The Cavaliers improve to 2-1-1 with the win.
"It was a hard fought game. I'm proud of our guys," coach Brian O'Connor said afterward. "There's a lot of things that we did not do well. Anybody who knows the game of baseball could see that in that game. There's a lot of things we need to improve on. But most importantly, I'm proud of our players because we found a way to win the ballgame."
"We have a target on our back. That's just the way it is," said senior first baseman Jared King. "And so now guys are like, 'Hey, this is how teams are going to play us.' You really can't take a game off."
Papi was 0-3 with a pair of walks before his game-winning hit.
"I kind of had to keep battling for the team, keep picking myself up," he said. "I knew I was going to get a chance later in the game so I could help my team out."
King went 3-5 for Virginia -- including a bases-clearing three-run double in the bottom of the eighth, as the Cavaliers rallied from a 4-0 hole. King scored on a Nate Irving single to tie the game at four.
Irving's error in the top of the 11th allowed the Tribe to re-take a 5-4 lead. But Chris Taylor led off the bottom of the inning with a single, then advanced to second when Mitchell Shifflett walked. A Stephen Bruno sacrifice bunt put both players in scoring position, and Papi followed with his game-winning single to right.
Senior Justin Thompson got the win out of the bullpen for the Cavaliers, after giving up three hits and one unearned run in three innings. Starter Joel Effertz gave up two runs on six hits, and also walked three, in two-and-two-thirds innings.
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