The pitching and defense may not have been sharp for the Virginia baseball team on Tuesday night against VCU -- so the Cavaliers had to turn to their offense to get them out of Richmond with a win.
Brandon Downes hit a solo homer in the top of the 10th to put UVa back in front for good, as the top-ranked Cavaliers escaped The Diamond with a 5-4 win. With the win, UVa improves to 34-7 on the season.; the Rams fell to 28-10 with the loss.
UVa led 4-2 in the eighth inning, until a Bill Cullen RBI single off Connor Jones pulled VCU back within a run. Closer Nick Howard came on to get the Cavaliers out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth with a pair of strikeouts, and maintain UVa's one-run lead.
The Rams loaded the bases again against Howard in the ninth. It looked like Howard would again pitch out of the jam when he got Chris Ayers to hit a grounder to second base. But a Branden Cogswell error allowed the tying run to score, and force extra innings.
After Downes homered on the first pitch he saw in the top of the 10th, VCU again loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. But Whit Mayberry got a ground-out to third base to end the game.
Howard picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the season. Mayberry earned his second save after pitching the 10th.
Joe McCarthy drove in a pair of runs for the Wahoos, with an RBI single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Derek Fisher added a solo homer, his first of the season, in the top of the second.
Tuesday's game was the first of six in an eight-day span for the Cavaliers, who return home to host Richmond on Wednesday.
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