No. 7 Virginia Rallies To Beat Herd Baseball, 5-4

March 17, 2009

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Sophomore first baseman Victor Gomez finished 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs and helped Marshall build a 4-1 lead, but No. 7 Virginia used a four-run seventh frame to lift the Cavaliers to a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Thundering Herd in Tuesday afternoon's non-conference baseball game at Davenport Field.

With the loss, Marshall falls to 7-9 overall, while Virginia remains undefeated and moves to 16-0 on the season.

Trailing 5-4 in the top of the ninth inning, sophomore right fielder Ben Jurevicius singled to left field before senior centerfielder Nate Lape launched a bomb to the warning track in deep centerfield. Virginia centerfielder Jarrett Parker made a basket-catch to keep the tying run from scoring, and from there, reliever Kevin Arico fired a game-ending strikeout to seal the victory.

Red-shirt senior Andrew Blain, who entered with two outs in the seventh, suffered the loss and falls to 1-1 on the season, while Cavaliers reliever Matt Packer earns his first victory of the year. Packer entered in the fifth inning and contributed three innings of work, scattering three hits while striking out three. Arico got the save, his first of the year, after two innings of scoreless relief.

With the Herd leading 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh frame, a pair of singles gave Virginia two on and chased Marshall freshman starter Greg Williams from the game in favor of sophomore Arik Sikula. From there, a hit batter loaded the bases with one out before Sikula fired a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Blain then entered in relief and allowed an RBI walk, followed by a two-run single which tied the game at 4-4. Sophomore Ian Kadish entered and allowed a walk to reload the bags before a balk brought in the go-ahead run. From there, Kadish was able to get out of the jam without further damage with a fly out to left field.

Williams was superb on the mound through the first five innings, allowing just one hit from the potent Virginia lineup while striking out three Cavalier batters.

After playing three scoreless innings Marshall broke the scoreless tie when Gomez doubled in Lape who was hit by a pitch to lead off the Herd fourth. From there, a ground out moved Gomez to third, and a walk to junior third baseman Josh Valle placed runners on the corners. An infield error allowed Gomez to score from third, and a base hit off the bat of sophomore shortstop Kenny Socorro brought Valle around, giving the Herd a 3-0 lead.

An RBI single in the Virginia sixth narrowed the margin to 3-1 but, Marshall responded with a run in the top of the seventh when Gomez drove in senior second baseman Adam Yeager from second.

Marshall held the Virginia offense to just five runs on seven hits which was both the lowest run and hit total for the Cavaliers in a game so far this season.

Marshall returns to action Wednesday, March 18 with a 3:00 p.m. contest against West Virginia State at George T. Smailes Field at The Kennedy Center. Admission is free.