Wednesday, William and Mary (1-8) managed to mount a comeback against 2015 national champion Virginia (6-3) before falling just short in extras as Virginia answered the Tribe’s single 11th-inning run with two of their own to close out the match 4-3. Although Virginia pitcher Bennett Sousa threw a no-hitter, the College pushed the Cavaliers to two extra innings before falling in bottom of the 11th.
The opening of the game was all Virginia as the Cavaliers scored one in the first and in the third while keeping the Tribe off the board, sending it into the top of the sixth down 2-0. The College finally got on the board in the sixth, after a long inning saw three players walk before junior infielder Colin Lipke could finally score from third on a ground out. The team tallied another run in the seventh inning as junior infielder Zach Pearson was hit by a pitch to get on base, eventually scoring after a series of wild pitches and ground outs. With that, the game was tied 2-2 without the Tribe yet tallying a hit.
Neither team was able to push through in the following innings as senior pitcher Charlie Fletcher and sophomore pitcher Wade Strain put up a strong showing for the College bullpen, allowing no runs and no hits in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings. Nine innings weren’t enough to decide this one, so the game headed into extra innings.
Although the Tribe got a runner to third in the 10th inning, they were kept off the scoreboard as the final batter struck out at the plate. Finally, in the 11th, the College broke the tie as Pearson once again got onto base because of an error. As a result of a throwing error and a fielding error, Pearson completed the Tribe comeback as his second run of the game gave the Tribe a 3-2 lead.
It looked like the game might be the Tribe’s, but Virginia wasn’t done yet. The College managed to get one out on the board, but one last error in a game decided by errors led the Cavaliers to score twice. They cracked a late 11th-inning hit, then scored twice on a throwing error to claim a 4-3 walk-off win.
William and Mary has pitched three no-hitters of its own in school history; the last one was thrown in 1979 against VCU, a match which they lost 4-0. According to Virginia baseball, the game Wednesday was only the third no-hitter ever pitched at Davenport Field in Charlottesville.
With the loss to Virginia, the Tribe falls to 1-8 on the season. It will look for its second win as it begins its third weekend series Friday when it takes on High Point at Plumeri Park.