Upsets of No. 1-ranked teams are celebrated so much largely because they are so rare. William and Mary’s 11-2 defeat at the hands of No. 1-ranked U.Va. Wednesday night, almost two months after the Cavaliers’ (31-6, 14-4 ACC) 17-2 victory over the Tribe, further reinforces this concept.
Playing in Charlottesville, the Tribe (22-14, 6-2 CAA) struggled against the host’s pitching staff, led by starting pitcher Artie Lewicki (3-0), who struck out eight batters.
Despite the best efforts of junior first baseman Michael Katz, the College managed just four hits. Katz, who currently has a batting average of .408, provided two of the hits — both doubles — and each of the runs batted in.
In just the second start of his collegiate career, freshman starting pitcher Daniel Powers (0-1) took the mound for the Tribe against the Cavaliers’ high-powered batting order. Powers surrendered five runs in the first two innings, prompting head coach Brian Murphy to bring in the bullpen for a long outing. All told, six Tribe pitchers saw action. None lasted longer than two innings.
Although the Cavaliers scored at least a run in all but one inning, the third inning was their most productive. Powers loaded the bases without retiring the first out. He was then replaced by junior relief pitcher Bryson Kauhaahaa. Trying to mitigate the danger, Kauhaahaa gave up three singles and five runs, only two of which were earned, before finally ending the inning.
The Tribe notched its first run of the evening in the sixth inning, already down by nine runs. U.Va switched out Lewicki for relief pitcher Alec Bettinger.
Junior right fielder Nick Thompson hit a double to start off the inning. Katz, the next batter, drove home Thompson with another double. The bases were loaded for the Tribe after two more batters reached base. But freshman shortstop Tim Hoehn was retired to end the inning, stranding three runners.
The Tribe earned another run in the seventh inning. After sophomore right fielder Josh Smith was walked to start the inning, Katz hit another double to bring Smith home. The rest of the order wasn’t able to bring in Katz, though. The Tribe didn’t register another hit for the rest of the game.
Beyond Powers and Kauhaahaa, Murphy deployed four other pitchers in the game, each of whom gave up at least one run. Sophomore relief pitcher Andrew White was the only Tribe pitcher Wednesday night to pitch through an entire inning without giving up a single run.
The College starts its three-game series with Northeastern (15-18, 4-5 CAA) in Boston today at 3 p.m.