CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Led by sophomore leftfielder Phil Gosslein, who had three hits and four runs batted in, 8th-ranked University of Virginia (20-2) built a 9-0 lead after three innings and went on to beat the visiting Tigers (12-11) at Davenport Field on Tuesday night in the first game of their two-game series.
With the win, Virginia snapped its two-game losing streak. The Cavaliers had opened the season with 19 consecutive victories before dropping two of three games to fourth-ranked Miami over the weekend.
The Cavaliers, who entered the game as the sixth-best offensive team in the nation with a .374 team batting average, wasted little time in flexing their muscles against the Tigers. Sophomore centerfielder Jarrett Parker led off the first inning with a single to right. Parker went to third base when Gosselin singled to right on a hit-and-run play. But, freshman righthander Jeff Randolph of Towson got freshman first baseman Danny Hultzen to hit into a double play as Parker scored to give Virginia a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, the Cavaliers sent ten batters to the plate as they scored seven runs to take an 8-0 advantage. Junior shortstop Tyler Cannon started the rally with a bunt single down the first base line. Freshman catcher John Hicks followed with a single before a walk to freshman Steven Kouril loaded the bases. Sophomore second baseman Corey Hunt gave the Cavaliers a 3-0 edge when he lined a two-run single to right. After Parker was hit by a pitch, Virginia had the bases loaded again.
Then, Gosselin lined a double to left centerfield driving in three runs, giving the Cavaliers a 6-0 advantage. After Gosselin’s double, Randolph was relieved by freshman righthander Sean Bertrand. Hultzen lined Bertrand’s first pitch down the left field line while Gosselin scored to give Virginia a 7-0 lead. After Hultzen moved to third base on a fly ball to right by Grovatt, freshman third baseman Steven Proscia hit a sacrifice fly to cap off the seven-run inning as Virginia owned an 8-0 advantage.
The Cavaliers added another run in the third inning as Kouril and Hunt hit back-to-back singles. With two outs, Gosselin doubled to left centerfield as Koutil scored to make it a 9-0 lead. Bertrand stranded two runners when he retired Hultzen on a fly ball to right.
While the Cavaliers were building their 9-0 lead in the first three innings, senior righthander Robert Poulter breezed through the first three innings, retiring all nine Tiger batters he faced.
Senior shortstop Gary Helmick led off the fourth inning with a triple down the leftfield line for the Tigers’ first hit of the game. Helmick’s triple enabled him to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Junior centerfielder Kevin Collins got the Tigers on the scoreboard when he lined a double down the rightfield line, scoring Helmick. After Poulter retired junior third baseman Steve Yarsinsky on a fly ball, senior first baseman Matt Collins singled to centerfield, scoring his brother to make it a 9-2 game. The Tigers proceeded to load the bases before Poulter retired sophomore Austin Harclerode on a popup to end the threat.
In the fifth inning, Helmick hit his second triple of the game, a shot to left centerfield. Moments later, he scored to make it 9-3 when Kevin Collins grounded out to second base.
The Tigers cut their deficit to 9-4 in the seventh inning as they scored an unearned run. Helmick led off the inning by reaching on an error by Proscia at third base. After Kevin Collins hit into a force play, Yarsinsky singled to give the Tigers two runners on base with one out. After Matt Collins struck out, senior catcher Jason Stifler singled to right, driving in a run.
Bertrand gave the Tigers a chance to come from behind with six strong innings of relief. In his six innings of work, he allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
However, the Cavaliers put the game out of reach in the eighth inning when they scored four runs on two hits, upping the lead to 13-4. An RBI single by Parker and Jared King’s two-run single were the big hits of the inning.
While Gosselin led Virginia with three hits and four RBI’s, the Cavaliers outhit Towson, 14-8. Parker had two hits and scored three runs while Kouril added two hits and scored three runs. Hunt also had a pair of hits and two RBI’s.
Poutier picked up his first win of the season as he allowed three runs on six hits in five innings of work. He walked two and had six strikeouts.
Helmick and Yarsinsky led the Tigers with two hits each.
The Tigers’ 13-4 loss to Virginia was their most one-sided loss of the season.
Towson and Virginia close out their two-game series on Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m.