CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Duke baseball team was unable to slow the Cavaliers’ offense as No. 7 Virginia registered a season-high 22 hits en route to a 17-8 victory over the Blue Devils Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. Virginia scored at least one run in six innings and put a combined 13 runs on the board in the third and fourth frames.
Left fielder Mike Papi was one of five Cavaliers with three hits on the day, going 4-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored. Joe McCarthy, Brandon Downes, Reed Gragnani and Kenny Towns had three hits each and Virginia also totaled six extra base hits.
Redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini reached base in all four of his at bats, going 2-for-2 with a pair of walks. Marconcini was one of five Blue Devils with two hits, joining Mark Lumpa, Jeff Kremer, Jordan Betts and Kenny Koplove.
Virginia struck first in Saturday’s contest, plating a run in the bottom of the first on a Downes sacrifice fly.
In his first plate appearance since Mar. 10, sophomore Andrew Istler tied the game at 1-1 in the second, sending a sacrifice fly to center field for his fifth RBI of the season.
Duke starter Michael Matuella (4-3) retired the first two batters in the second before Towns and Nate Irving both singled. Papi then beat out an infield single to second and the throw got away from Andy Perez, allowing Towns to score on the play.
Virginia broke the game open the next two innings, sending five around in the third and eight in the fourth. UVa plated all five runs in the third with two outs including RBI triples from Towns and Papi. The Cavaliers sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth as Papi, Fisher and Gragnani each belted RBI doubles.
Duke responded with a five-run fifth to cut the deficit to 15-6. With two out, Kremer began the rally, which included five-straight singles, with a base hit through the right side. Betts and Marconcini followed suit before Grant McCabe roped a two-run single through the right side and Koplove drove in the final run of the frame.
The Cavaliers extended their lead to 16-6 on a Papi sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth and added a final run in the eighth.
Matuella took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits in 2.2 innings of work in his first ACC start. Freshman James Marvel and sophomore Remy Janco combined for 2.2 scoreless innings in relief.
UVa starter Scott Silverstein (8-1) picked up the win, giving up six runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
Duke and Virginia are set to meet in the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m. at Davenport Field.