Feb. 20, 2010

*Courtesy of Virginia Athletics

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The No. 2 Virginia baseball team opened the 2010 season strong with a 6-2 victory over No. 11 East Carolina Friday afternoon in front of 5,012 fans at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C. After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Cavaliers rallied by scoring six unanswered runs over the final six innings.

Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) had a big day at the plate and on the mound for Virginia. Hultzen earned the win and went six strong innings as UVa's starting pitcher, allowing two earned runs, four hits and three walks while striking out four. After a shaky opening inning where he allowed both runs as well as two walks, Hultzen settled down to surrender just two hits and a walk over the final five innings. At the plate, Hultzen added two hits, including a double, and scored twice.

Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) stoked the Cavaliers' offense, going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and four RBI. Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) and Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) each had a pair of hits.

Tyler Wilson (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) pitched the final three innings for Virginia, blanking the Pirates to earn the save. Seth Maness (0-1) started for East Carolina and gave up four earned runs, six hits and a walk over 5.2 innings. He also struck out four. Dustin Harrington and Kyle Roller each had two hits for ECU.

East Carolina struck for a pair of runs in the first inning. With one out, Harrington singled and he moved to third on a double by Roller. Hultzen then walked the next two batters to force in a run. He settled down to get Jared Avchen to ground out, which forced in a run, and induce Cameron Freeman to foul out to first baseman John Hicks.

After Maness allowed just one hit in his first trip through the batting order, the Cavaliers responded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Hultzen led off with a single and moved to third on a single to right by Grovatt. Proscia plated the Cavaliers' first run with a sacrifice fly to right field. Parker then cranked a double to left-center to score Grovatt and knot the score.

In the sixth, Virginia forged ahead with two runs. Hultzen led off with a double and moved to third on a Grovatt flyout. Proscia then launched a 2-0 offering from Maness high over the left-field wall for a two-run home run.

The Cavaliers tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning against reliever Zach Woods. John Barr (Jr., Ivyland, Pa.) led off with a single and moved to second on a groundout. With two out, Grovatt ripped a single to left to plate Barr, who slid in at home to just beat the throw. Grovatt moved to second on the throw to the plate, which proved key when Proscia followed and singled through the left side to score the run easily and push the UVa lead to 6-2.

Wilson came on in the seventh inning and shut the Pirates out the rest of the way. In the ninth, ECU put two runners on with one out, but Wilson forced Roller to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end things.

The teams return for game two of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday.