May 30, 2009

Courtesy of UC Irvine Athletics

IRVINE, Calif. - Phil Gosselin's first inning home run off of San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg gave No. 7 Virginia a lead the Cavaliers would never relinquish in a 5-1 victory.

San Diego State (40-22) ace Stephen Strasburg entered the game with a 13-0 record, and while he added to his NCAA-best strikeout total of 180 with 15 more strikeouts Saturday, he allowed five hits over the first two innings to Cavalier hitters as Virginia (44-12-1) moved out to an early lead.

With the game in the national spotlight due to Strasburg, it was Virginia's Robert Morey who shined. The sophomore from Virginia Beach, Va., pitched six scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out nine batters to pick up his third win of the year, improving his record to 3-0.

After striking out Jarrett Parker to start the first, Strasburg's first pitch to Virginia designated hitter Phil Gosselin was smoked to left field off of the scoreboard, giving the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead. Danny Hultzen and Dan Grovatt followed with singles as Strasburg gave up three consecutive hits, but the San Diego State hurler recovered with a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning.

The Cavaliers added an additional run in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Steven Proscia started the inning with a single through the left side. Strasburg struck out two batters to get two outs, but also threw two wild pitches to move Proscia to third, where he would score on a Jarrett Parker single.

The Aztecs cut the lead to one after getting on the board in the top of the eighth. Cory Vaughn reached by drawing a walk, and following Mitch Blackburn's second double, a sacrifice fly by Chris Wison made the score 2-1. The Cavaliers responded in the bottom half of the inning with a second home run, a two-run shot off the bat of Proscia. Three more Cavalier singles followed the homer, scoring Franco Valdes giving Virginia a four-run lead.

The second-seeded Cavaliers move on to the winners bracket, facing the winner of Game 2 between top-seeded UC Irvine and Fresno State Saturday at 8 p.m. The Aztecs will play the loser of that matchup in the first game Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.