April 8, 2012
The Virginia baseball team clinched a series win over Wake Forest with a 4-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field. Winners of 13-consecutive games at home, the Cavaliers (21-10-1, 8-6 ACC) have now captured 16-consecutive ACC home series dating to 2009. UVa will go for the series sweep at 7 p.m. Monday in a game that will be televised on ESPNU as part of the network's ACC Monday package.
Virginia's bullpen stepped up with 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. Shane Halley tossed 2.2 innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1 this year. Nick Howard, Kyle Crockett and Justin Thompson combined to blank the Demon Deacons over the final two innings. Thompson pitched a perfect ninth inning to nab his fifth save.
Despite struggling all day with his control, Virginia starting pitcher Scott Silverstein allowed just one earned run in 4.1 innings. He gave up three hits and three walks while striking out three in his shortest start of the season.
Branden Cogswell hit a double and a triple, scored twice and knocked in a pair of runs to highlight the Virginia offense. UVa finished with six hits, and the Cavaliers' defense came up big with double plays to end the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
"When the pitchers keep the ball down we're able to turn double plays to end innings. It gives us a lot of motivation and a lot of confidence later into the game," Cogswell said.
For the second-straight day, Wake Forest scored in the first inning. With two outs Mac Williamson hit his 10th home run, a massive solo blast which easily cleared the left-field bleachers.
Virginia broke into the scoring column with a three-run third inning. Keith Werman drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double to center by Chris Taylor. Cogswell followed with a triple to right-center to plate both runners, and he scored when Stephen Bruno singled to left.
The Cavaliers added a run in the fifth inning. Cogswell cranked a double to left-center to start the inning, then advanced on a Bruno flyout and scored on a Jared King sacrifice fly.
Wake Forest threatened in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but could not break through against UVa's bullpen. Virginia turned 6-4-3 double plays to end the fifth and sixth innings. In the seventh, with runners on first and second and one out, Conor Keniry lined to Bruno at third, who fired to Cogswell at second to complete the 5-4 double play. The Demon Deacons put runners at first and third with two outs in the eighth, but Crockett entered the game and forced pinch hitter Scott Schoettmer to ground softly to King at first base to end the inning.
"The fact that we were able to turn the double plays that we did, that's where, when people ask me three weeks ago when we started to make this move and play better baseball, that happened because we started playing really good defense. That's always been a trademark for us and that's going to need to continue for us to have success," Virginia Head Coach Brian O'Connor said.
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