CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Nick Howard (So., Olney, Md.) went a career-best 5-for-5 and drove in three runs to lift the No. 5 Virginia baseball team to a 6-2 win over Richmond Tuesday evening at Davenport Field. Howard is the first Cavalier to record five hits in a game since Stephen Bruno on April 21, 2012, at Duke.
Brandon Downes (So., South Plainfield, N.J.) added a pair of doubles and two RBI for Virginia (36-6), while Branden Cogswell (So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) walked and scored three times as well for UVa. Bases on balls proved to be huge for the Cavaliers, who drew six walks, with five coming around to score.
David Rosenberger (Fr., Bethlahem, Pa.), the second of four Virginia pitchers, worked a career-long three innings to earn his first win. Rosenberger (1-0) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out a pair. After starter Josh Sborz (Fr., McLean, Va.) allowed a pair of runs in three innings, UVa's bullpen of Rosenberger, Nathaniel Abel (So., Haymarket, Va.) and Whit Mayberry (R-Jr., Alexandria, Va.) combined to shut out the Spiders on six hits over the final six frames.
Virginia never trailed in the game and scored twice in the first inning to grab an early lead. Cogswell and Papi drew walks and with two outs, Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.) and Howard hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 edge.
Richmond (24-15) tied the game in the third inning. With one out Nick Poulos singled, stole second and scored on a Mike Small single. Small came around to score on a double by Tanner Stanley.
Virginia promptly took the lead back for good in its half of the third. Papi drew a leadoff walk and Downes followed with a double. One out later Howard singled to right field to bring Papi home.
The Cavaliers added three runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead. Cogswell and Papi each drew walks and with two outs, Downes lined a double off the left-field wall, scoring both runners. After Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.) walked, Howard doubled to left to plate Downes.
Both teams had scoring opportunities over the final five innings but failed to cash in on them. Richmond stranded 11 runners in the game and left eight on base over the final five frames, while UVa left 13 runners on base in the game, including two in three of the final four innings.