CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – #18 Virginia continued its perfect start to the 2009 campaign, collecting a 10-3 win over VMI on Wednesday afternoon at Davenport Field.
In a game that saw each team use six pitchers, the Cavaliers (14-0) jumped out to a 9-0 advantage through six innings before VMI (6-8) rallied late. Starter Tyler Wilson (2-0) picked up the win by working two scoreless innings, while Keydet starter Jeremy Brown (1-2) took the loss, allowing a pair of runs in his two innings of work.
The Cavaliers were led offensively by Dan Grovatt, whose 3-for-4 day included a double, a triple and three RBI. Phil Gosselin went 2-for-4 with three runs, and Corey Hunt drove in a pair while going 2-for-4. The Keydets were paced by Jordan Ballard, who hit a home run and scored two runs, while Graham Sullivan’s lone hit went for two bases.
Virginia opened the scoring in the first inning, as Grovatt’s triple off the right-center field wall chased home Jarrett Parker and Gosselin. The Keydets rallied in the third, putting a pair of runners on with only one out, but reliever Sean Lucas induced an inning-ending double play to quell the threat.
The ‘Hoos broke the game open with a five-run fourth inning. It appeared VMI would escape the jam by allowing only one run, as reliever Tim Brust induced a two-out groundout by Hunt. A balk was called just before the pitch, however, plating a run and giving Hunt new life. On the next pitch, Hunt put down a bunt single to score another run, and the next four hitters each reached base, giving Virginia a 7-0 advantage.
The hosts tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth, as Hunt and Grovatt notched RBI singles, bringing the margin to 9-0.
VMI scraped together two runs without the benefit of a hit in the seventh. Virginia reliever Robert Morey issued walks to Ballard and Sam Roberts to open the inning, and a wild pitch moved the two into scoring position. Brian Sandridge’s groundout spoiled the Cavs’ shutout bid, while another wild pitch from Morey brought home the inning’s second run.
The Cavs capped their scoring with a single tally in the eighth, as David Coleman collected a pinch-hit single into center field, plating Gosselin from second base.
Ballard cranked out his third home run of the season to lead off the ninth, bringing the score to 10-3. Each of Ballard’s three round-trippers this season have come at ACC parks, after homering twice on opening weekend at #1 North Carolina.
VMI opens conference play this weekend, taking on first-year Big South member Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C. Game one of the three-game set is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.