Lafayette's First Appearance in NCAA Regional Since 1990 Begins with a 5-1 Loss to No. 7 Ranked Virginia
June 1, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Seventh-ranked Virginia scored four runs in the first inning and went on to a 5-1 victory over Lafayette baseball in the NCAA Regional first round on Friday at the University of Virginia's Davenport Field. .
The Leopards (33-19), who were making their first NCAA Regional appearance since 1990 and the 10th in the program's history, will play the loser of Friday's second game pitting defending national champion Oregon State and Big East champ Rutgers on Saturday.
"Letting up four runs was not a great way to get started," said head coach Joe Kinney. "We had some opportunities early; we had four or five men left on base, and we struck out looking twice."
In the first inning, Lafayette starter Matt Kamine did something he hadn't done all season, surrendering two walks in an inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Brandon Guyer lifted a 1-2 changeup high in the zone over the leftfield wall to give the host Cavaliers the early lead. With the bases empty, Kamine walked David Adams. Catcher Beau Seabury (3-for-4) used a two-out double to the gap to score Adams and stake Virginia to a 4-0 lead.
The Leopards put two runners aboard in the top of the second, leading off the inning with singles by Kevin Leasure and Dave Drechsel, but that was as far as they advanced as Virginia's Sean Doolittle struck out two of the next three batters.
It was a similar story for Lafayette in the top of the fourth inning. Tom Hayes reached on an error on a ball that was ripped to third. Kevin Leasure singled to rightfield to put runners on first and second with no outs. Doolittle got a shallow flyout to left before the inning ended on a strikeout/throwout double play with Jeff Butler at the plate and Hayes on his way to third on a hit-and-run.
The Cavaliers (44-14) built their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning, brining home a run on Brandon Marsh's (4-for-4) RBI-single. That ended Virginia's scoring for the game, as Kamine (7-5) did not allow a runner past second base in the final four innings. He finished with five runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Lafayette got on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth. Pinch hitter Tom Ambrosole pulled a double to leftfield to start things. Daniel Bierce advanced pinch runner Matt Hall to third with a ground ball, allowing James Conrad (3-for-4) to score Hall for the Leopards' first run of the game. Conrad was picked off first for the second out of the inning.
Chris Luick kept the inning going with a two-out double, and Mike Raible placed runners on the corners. Raible's single sent Doolittle from the mound in favor of Jake Rule who caught Hayes looking to end the inning.
Doolittle, a potential high-round draft pick in the upcoming Major League draft, notched his eighth victory of the season. He allowed one run and nine hits with six strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
Lafayette matched Virginia in the hit column, each recording 11, and both teams left eight runners on base.
Lafayette will play either Rutgers or Oregon State on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Lafayette played its first nationally-ranked opponent of the season on Friday afternoon vs. Virginia. The Cavaliers are ranked as high as fifth in the Collegiate Baseball national poll and as "low" as eighth in the Baseball America Top 25, one of four recognized national polls. The last time Lafayette faced a nationally ranked opponent was March 25, 2002, when Lafayette lost an 8-4 decision to No. 23 Ohio State.
Lafayette starter Matt Kamine had walked just 10 batters the entire season and only twice had he walked two in the same game.