Cowgill Sensational, But #10 Virginia Rallies For Win
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 02/23/2011
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Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Sophomore Coby Cowgill turned in a brilliant start and VMI took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning, but the #10 Virginia Cavaliers rallied for a 4-3 win over the Keydets in non-conference baseball action Wednesday at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va.

Cowgill cruised through the first six innings Wednesday, allowing just one run. After a one-out walk in the seventh, he was pulled in favor of classmate John Garrett, who gave up an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2. Then in the eighth, Garrett walked Steven Proscia to lead off the inning, and Danny Hultzen bunted his teammate to second base. VMI turned to Michael Devine (0-1) with the tying run on second, and after Devine got the inning's second out, Stephen Bruno singled to tie the game. John Barr followed with a double to right, scoring Bruno and accounting for the final score.

Cowgill was sensational in defeat, going 6 2/3 innings and surrendering two runs on just three hits. He walked three, struck out six and was helped by a double play in the sixth, which came with the bases loaded and one out. UVA's (4-0) Whit Mayberry (1-0), a season after being defeated by VMI (1-4) at Gray-Minor Stadium, picked up the win in relief by throwing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless action.

The Keydets jumped on top early on the cool, cloudy day, picking up a run in the first. Sam Roberts led off with a single against UVA starter Will Roberts, and advanced to second on a George Piccirilli groundout. One out later, Chase Worthington singled to plate the VMI shortstop and give the Keydets the lead, 1-0.

Cowgill shut the Cavaliers out through three innings, and VMI added to its advantage in the fourth when Alex Haitsuka homered on the first pitch of the inning. The VMI catcher's first home run of the season made it 2-0, Keydets.

The home team countered in the bottom half, as Proscia led off with a single and promptly stole second. Hultzen flied out, but Proscia moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout, cutting the lead to 2-1.

VMI threatened in the fifth, thanks to back to back two-out hits by Piccirilli and Graham Sullivan, but could not score. Neither could UVA in the bottom half, as with the bases full of Cavaliers, Keith Werman grounded a pitch back to Cowgill, who turned a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.

The Keydets took advantage in the sixth. Haitsuka led off with a double, and two outs later, freshman Berkley Hawkins tallied his first collegiate hit, a clean single through the middle to drive home Haitsuka. That widened the VMI lead to 3-1.

Unfortunately for VMI, the UVA bullpen would shut the door the rest of the way, setting the stages for the late-inning rally.

The VMI offense was paced by the top of the lineup, as the first five hitters combined for eight of the 11 Keydet hits, including two each from Roberts, Haitsuka and Piccirilli. Devine's loss was his first since March 21 of last season, a game against High Point, while the run he allowed was the first he had surrendered in regular season action since May 1 of 2010, a span of 8.2 innings.

UVA was led by outfielder Barr, who went 2 for 4 with the game-winning RBI.

VMI will return to action Friday, as the Keydets play host to the Binghamton Bearcats in the opener of a four-game weekend series. Game time at Gray-Minor Stadium is set for 4 p.m.

#10 Virginia 4, VMI 3 (Feb. 23, 2011 at Charlottesville, Va.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
VMI.................  100 101  000  - 3 11 0    (1-4)
#10 Virginia     . 000 100 12X -  4 6 0      (4-0)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
VMI - Cowgill; Garrett (7); Devine (8) and Haitsuka.
UVA - Roberts; Mayberry (6); Kline (9) and Hicks.
W-Mayberry (1-0) S-Kline (2) L-Devine (0-1) T-2:28 A-2175
HR VMI - Haitsuka (1)


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