Charlottesville - The Virginia baseball team opened the 2014 NCAA Tournament with a 10-1 victory over Bucknell in the Charlottesville Regional Friday at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers (45-13) play (39-23) Arkansas Saturday night at 8 in round two after the Razorbacks edged Liberty 3-2 Friday night. Bucknell (30-20-1) and (41-16) Liberty play an elimination game Saturday at 2.
The Cavaliers scored one run in each of the first three innings, bursting open the 3-0 contest with a seven-run sixth inning. Bucknell committed four errors in the game, leading to nine unearned runs for Virginia.
Virginia senior right-handed starter Artie Lewicki improved to 6-1 after throwing seven shutout innings. Lewicki scattered three hits, struck out five and walked three in a solid effort.
Sophomore designated hitter John La Prise and junior first baseman Mike Papi led Virginia’s offensive attack with three hits each. Junior center fielder Brandon Downes added two hits and junior left fielder Derek Fisher drove in a pair of runs.
In the seven-run sixth inning, La Prise singled up the middle to start the frame. La Prise and Downes, who had been hit by a pitch, both scored after another errant throw by Clark, putting the Cavaliers up 5-0. Fisher, batting with the bases loaded and two outs, singled to center, driving in a pair of runs to extend Virginia’s lead to 7-0. Sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy scored on a wild pitch, while junior third baseman Kenny Towns singled home Fisher to score the fifth and sixth runs of the frame. La Prise extended the inning with his second single of the frame before Downes drove in Towns to give UVa a 10-0 advantage. Mike Papi, who led UVa with three hits, commented after the game "Our offense had a great game today and the past three practices this week our offense was hitting extremely well and we were looking forward to coming into a game from the ACC (Tournament) being able to show what our offense can really do."