From UVa athletics:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The second-ranked Virginia baseball team clipped No. 14 Clemson, 3-2, Friday evening in front of 4,221 spectators at Davenport Field. Virginia pitchers Nathan Kirby (So., Midlothian, Va.), Whit Mayberry (R-Sr., Alexandria, Va.) and Nick Howard (Jr., Olney, Md.) combined on a five-hitter as the Cavaliers (29-5, 13-3 ACC) held the ACC's top offense in check.
Coming off a no-hitter last Friday at Pitt, Kirby (7-1) worked six solid innings, giving up two earned runs, four hits and three walks while striking out six. Kirby recorded his ninth straight quality start of the year (six innings pitched and three runs or fewer allowed); he entered the game as one of five pitchers nationally to post eight consecutive quality starts this year.
Mayberry pitched two shutout innings before giving way to Howard, who fired a perfect ninth inning to claim his ACC-leading 10th save in as many attempts.
Nate Irving (Jr., Yonkers, N.Y.) hit the go-ahead double in the fourth inning for UVa, which also finished with five hits. In addition to his work on the mound, Howard scored two of the Cavaliers' runs, including the eventual game winner.
Matthew Crownover (6-3) took the defeat for Clemson (20-13, 9-6) after giving up three runs (two earned), five hits and two walks in seven strong innings. He struck out four.
Virginia scored the game's first two runs in the second inning. With one out Howard and Brandon Downes (Jr., South Plainfield, N.J.) hit back-to-back singles and Irving walked to load the bases. Kenny Towns (Jr., Burke, Va.) hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and catcher Chris Okey's throw to third was mishandled by Weston Wilson, allowing Downes to scamper home.
Clemson promptly countered with a pair of runs in the third inning. With one out Tyler Slaton singled. Jay Baum's potential inning-ending double-play ball was bobbled at third base and UVa picked up only the out at first. The Tigers then got back-to-back run-scoring singles from Tyler Krieger and Steven Duggar to tie the game.
The Cavaliers moved ahead in the fourth inning as Howard drew a walk and scored on a two-out double to left-center by Irving.
Clemson put runners on base in each inning from the fifth through the eighth but could not net the tying score.
The series continues Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. game, while the series finale is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday.
From VT athletics:
BLACKSBURG – Sean Keselica threw a career-high 7.1 innings and struck out a career-high tying six batters while holding the Maryland Terrapins lineup in check as the Virginia Tech Hokies registered a 3-1 victory Friday night in ACC action at English Field.
Keselica, who was making his first career Friday start, scattered five hits and allowed just one run – ironically on arguably the greatest catch of the season by Ricky Surum – as he picked up the win to improve to 3-2 on the season.
Brad Markey, the usual Friday starter, came in from the bullpen and tossed the final 1.2 innings, allowed one hit and struck out one. It was just his third appearance in a Tech uniform in relief as he earned his first career save with the effort.
Maryland (20-12, 6-9 ACC) put the first run on the board in the top of the fifth when Kevin Martir and Michael Montville led off the inning with back-to-back singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt.
With Brandon Lowe at the plate, Keselica got him to pop the ball into shallow left field. Surum, playing at short, made an incredible diving play to record the out, saving probably one run, but Martir did score on the sacrifice fly. (Here is a link to the video)
Tech (16-16-1, 6-10 ACC) had at least one hit in every inning except the eighth, but also left four men on base through the first four frames. The Hokies responded to the Terrapins' single run with two of their own in the home half of the fifth
It appeared Jenco had scored on a Mark Zagunis' double, but umpires ruled it a ground-rule double when the ball hit the foul pole, rather than the wall, and came back on to the field. Jenco, however, would come home a couple pitches later on a passed ball and put Tech up 2-0.
Maryland threatened in the sixth with runners on the corners with two outs, but Keselica got Montville to hit a popup into foul ground, which Keselica caught to end the frame.
He then put it upon himself to add an insurance run for Tech, hitting a triple that scored Phil Sciretta to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
In the eighth, Markey came in with a runner on first with one out and Jose Cuas quickly hit a single and Maryland had the tying runs on base. After a grounder to second moved them both into scoring position, a grounder to short ended that threat. A perfect ninth ended the game.
Jenco ended the night 3 for 3, while Zagunis and Keselica each had two hits.
The two teams will play the second game the three-game ACC series on Saturday with a scheduled 2 p.m. first pitch.
From Liberty athletics:
FARMVILLE, Va. – The Liberty Flames plated five runs in the fifth inning and designated hitter Becker Sankey and second baseman Ryan Seiz each homered, en route to a 10-4 victory over the Longwood Lancers in a Big South Conference game at Bolding Stadium, Friday night.
Sankey had two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice. In the sixth inning, the designated hitter hit the first home run of his Liberty career.
Seiz also had two hits, drove in two runs and scored two runs. He connected for his Big South-leading eighth home run in the eighth inning.
Liberty moves to 12-1 in the Big South play and 27-8 overall. The Flames have won five straight contests and 10 consecutive Big South games. Longwood drops to 4-9 in conference and 14-21 overall.
Both teams plated runs in their first at bat of the evening. Liberty left fielder Nick Lacik led off the inning with a walk and stole second base. Two batters later, Seiz ripped a single back through the middle of the diamond, scoring Lacik for an early 1-0 edge.
In the bottom of the inning, Longwood shortstop Matt Dickason doubled and moved to third base on a single by left fielder Kyri Washington to open the frame. Dickason then came home on a double play ground out to tie the game at 1-1. The run ended Liberty starting pitcher Trey Lambert's shutout streak at 23 innings and the Flames' shutout streak against Big South competition at 60 2/3 innings.
The Lancers took the lead in the second inning. Third baseman Alex Owens tripled to begin the inning. Two batters later, catcher Marc McCafferty plated Owens with a ground out for a 2-1 advantage.
In the third, both teams pushed across runs. Just like in the first, Lacik led off the top of the inning by drawing a base on balls and moved to second on a singled by right fielder Will Shepherd. After advancing to third on a fly out to the left field wall by Seiz, Lacik scored on a fielder's choice ground ball by Sankey to knot the game at 2-2. Later in the inning, the Flames had a chance for more by loading the bases with two outs, but Longwood starter Travis Burnette retired the next batter to end the inning.
In the home half of the frame, Dickason and Washington singled with one out. Right fielder Brandon Delk followed with a double to the bottom of the center field fence to give the Lancers a 3-2 edge.
Liberty batted around and plated five runs in the fifth. With one out, Seiz was hit by a pitch and moved to second base on a single back through the middle of the infield by Sankey. After shortstop Dalton Britt walked to load the bases, a wild pitch by Lancer reliever Mitchell Kuebbing allowed Seiz to tie the at 3-3. First baseman Alex Close followed with a run-scoring single for a 4-3 Flames' advantage.
Liberty upped its lead to 5-3, as Longwood's Owen misplayed catcher Danny Grauer's grounder to third base. A RBI single by the next batter, third baseman Dylan Allen, plated the fourth run of the inning and the Flames made it, 7-3, on a sacrifice fly by Lacik.
The Flames and the Lancers each hit solo home runs in the sixth. In the top of the inning, Sankey belted a towering home run over the left field wall to give Liberty an 8-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Delk lined his sixth home run of the year over the left field wall, cutting Liberty advantage in the contest to four runs at 8-4.
Seiz homered in the eighth and Grauer had a RBI double in the ninth for what proved to be the final score of 10-4.
Lambert moves to 8-1 on the year. The right-hander, who has won his last eight starts, gave up four runs on eight hits over seven innings. He struck out seven batters and walked three.
Kuebbing, the second of four Longwood pitchers in the game, falls to 1-2. He allowed five runs on three hits over two innings. The right-hander struck out one and walked two batters.
Liberty outhit Longwood in the game, 10-9. Grauer joined Sankey and Seiz with two hits for the Flames. Delk had three hits for the Lancers.
Liberty and Longwood will meet again tomorrow at Bolding Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
From VMI athletics:
Reed Garrett allowed just three hits over seven-plus innings for the VMI Keydets, but a leadoff walk led to the game-deciding run in the eighth as the High Point Panthers prevailed, 2-1, in Big South baseball action Friday night in High Point, N.C.
With the game tied 1-1, Garrett walked Spencer Angelis on a 3-1 pitch to open the eighth inning. Rian Ellis relieved and Josh Spano had a bunt single to put two on with none out. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, and Ellis intentionally walked pinch-hitter Blake Hutton to set up a possible double play. A fielder's choice ground ball deep in the shortstop hole scored Angelis, however, to give High Point (20-14, 8-5 Big South) a 2-1 lead that would account for the final margin.
On the mound, Garrett (4-4) took the loss despite allowing just two runs on three hits over seven-plus frames of work. He walked five and struck out three. HPU starter John McGillicuddy allowed three hits and a single unearned run over 7 2/3 innings, but Conor Lourey, who got the final out of the eighth, moved to 4-0 with the victory.
High Point got on the board in the first inning, when Dane McDermott led off with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Kyle Brandenburg then reached on an error and Josh Greene followed with a single, scoring McDermott to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
The Keydets (18-14, 6-7 Big South) left a runner at third base in the fourth, but that was the only Keydet to reach second base until the seventh, when Eric Mayers walked with one out. One out later, Mayers stole second and went to third on a throwing error by HPU catcher Spano. After a walk to Will Connerley, Mayers scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, 1-1.
VMI then nearly grabbed the lead in the eighth. Jordan Tarsovich singled with two outs, ending McGillicuddy's night and bringing Lourey out of the HPU bullpen. David Geary walked, and Brandon Angus followed with a single to shallow right. McDermott charged the ball and threw home to catcher Spano to get Tarsovich, ending the inning and keeping the score knotted at 1.
After the Panthers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, VMI had one final chance. With one out in the ninth, Cameron Walter singled up the middle and Gary LeClair pinch-ran. LeClair stole second with two outs, but pinch-hitter Josh Worthley flew out to end the game.
At the plate, Angus had the lone multiple hit game for either team by going 2 for 4 in the setback.
VMI baseball will return to action Saturday for game two of the series with High Point. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.