CHARLOTTESVILLE – William & Mary fell to defending national champion Virginia 17-4 this afternoon in the opening game of the NCAA baseball tournament’s Charlottesville Regional.
The loss drops William & Mary into the loser’s bracket of the four-team regional and lowers their season record to 29-30. The Tribe will take on the loser of today’s second game between Bryant University and East Carolina in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
With their win the Cavaliers improved their record to 38-20, and they advance to a winner’s bracket matchup at 4 p.m. Saturday against the winner of the Bryant-East Carolina game.
For the 18th time this season, William & Mary jumped in front with a run in the top of the first inning. With one out, a single by Miconi and a double by sophomore Cullen Large put runners on second and third. The next batter, senior Charley Gould, grounded out, with Miconi scoring on the play to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
Virginia took the lead with two runs with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. Daniel Pinero’s one-out single and a walk to Adam Haseley started the rally. After a pop out, back-to-back singles by Jack Gerstenmaier and Cameron Simmons gave the Cavaliers a 2-1 advantage.
Virginia tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Justin Novack led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and moved to second on a fly out in foul territory. A single by Pavin Smith scored the inning’s first run. After an out, a single by Haseley kept the inning alive. The next batter, Charlie Cody, doubled to the left centerfield wall, clearing the bases.
UVA plated three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Simmons led off the frame with a double to left center, before Ernie Clement homered over the left field wall. Novack followed with a single, moving to second on a wild pitch. The fourth consecutive hit of the inning, from Matt Thaiss, gave the Cavaliers an 8-1 lead.
Again the Cavaliers scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, consecutive walks to Cody, Gerstenmier and Simmons loaded the bases. Clement then hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring the Wahoos’ ninth run.
However, Virginia came right back with two more runs in the bottom of the frame. Novack led off the inning with a single, moving to second on a groundout. The next batter, Pavin Smith, doubled just inside the third-base line scoring Novack. Pinero followed with a triple to right center, scoring the second run of the inning.
W&M continued to fight, adding two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. Freshman Zach Pearson led off the inning with a walk. Hall then belted a homer over the left field wall, cutting Virginia’s lead to 13-4.
But the Cavaliers added two more two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh. Novack led off the inning with a single, before a one-out single by Pavin Smith. With two outs, Haseley doubled down the left field line, clearing the bases.
UVA tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, Simmons reached on an error, before coming around to score on a triple from Clement. Novack followed with a single for the Cavaliers final run of the game.
Tribe pitcher Daniel Powers was saddled with his sixth loss of the season. He went three innings allowing six runs on seven hits, with one strikeout.
Alec Bettinger picked up his third win of the season for the Cavaliers. He went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Novack and Haseley led Virginia with three hits each. Clement drove in four runs, while Haseley and Gerstenmaier each drove in three.