Virginia, NC State split doubleheader
Chamra wins matinee for Wolfpack, improves record to 6-0
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Rob Chamra pitched a gem for seven innings Saturday, and NC State rallied for six runs in the sixth inning to take a 6-2 victory over No. 1 Virginia in the first game of a doubleheader at Davenport Field.
The Cavaliers salvaged a split of the twin-bill with a 3-1 victory in the second game despite 7 2/3 strong innings from Wolfpack starter Cory Mazzoni.
With the split, NC State now is 24-17 overall and 9-11 in the ACC. The loss in the opener was just the fourth of the season for Virginia, which now is 39-4 overall and 17-3 in the ACC.
In the opener, Chamra (6-0) outdueled Cavaliers lefthander Danny Hultzen (8-1), who figures to be taken among the top five picks in this June's MLB draft and who could be pitching in the major leagues before the end of the summer.
The Cavaliers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of unearned runs off Chamra. With a runner on first and two away, Steven Proscia hit a grounder to shortstop Chris Diaz, whose throw to first base was wide of the bag for an error. That should have been the third out of the inning. Instead, Hultzen, who doubled as Virginia's designated hitter, doubled into the right-field corner to drive in both runs.
Chamra was lights out from there and retired 12 of the next 14 men he faced and 17 of the next 21. He allowed just the two unearned runs on four hits in seven innings of work. He struck out three and walked three.
For a time, it appeared that Hultzen would make the two runs stand up. He carried a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning, but the Wolfpack roughed him up for six runs in the inning on six hits, an error and a couple of mental errors by the UVa defense.
Pratt Maynard led off the inning and doubled past first base and down the right-field line. With one away, Harold Riggins flared a single into shallow right field, advancing Maynard to third base. Ryan Mathews followed with a grounder to first base. Jared King bobbled the ball for an error, with Maynard scoring on the play. Chris Schaeffer singled to left-center to drive in a run, and Matt Bergquist picked up an RBI by beating out a bunt single up the first-base line when no one bothered to cover first base. With two down, Chris Diaz doubled down the right-field line. Schaeffer scored easily from first base on the play, and Bergquist made it home all the way from first base without a play when right fielder David Coleman's throw to the infield was to second base instead of home plate. Diaz stole third, and Brett Williams followed with a triple to right-center, knocking in the sixth run of the inning.
The six-run rally stunned the near-capacity crowd of 4183, which was not used to seeing Hultzen get knocked around. The junior lefthander, who entered the game with an 8-0 record, a 1.17 ERA and an ACC-leading 99 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings, lost for just the third time in his career and the first time since March 5, 2010. He was charged with six runs, only two of them earned, on 11 hits in 7 1/3 innings. The 11 hits allowed were the most Hultzen has allowed in his career at UVa. He walked one and struck out five.
NC State closer Chris Overman pitched the final two innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. The game was not a save situation.
Virginia jumped to a 2-0 lead in the nightcap against Mazzoni. Keith Werman drove in a run in the second inning with a single to center, and John Hicks tripled in a run in the third. Mazzoni dominated after that, retiring the next 10 UVa hitters and 15 of the next 16, but Cavaliers starter Tyler Wilson made the two runs stand up, allowing just one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Brett Williams singled home Matt Bergquist in the seventh for NC State's only score of the game. Wilson fanned seven and walked two.
Virginia added an insurance run in the eighth on Proscia's sacrifice fly, and Branden Kline pitched a scoreless ninth to record his ACC-leading 12th save.