Baseball Drops Season Opener To Virginia, 9-1

In their 2013 season opener, the Saint Peter's University baseball team dropped a 9-1 decision to the University of Virginia Cavaliers .

"To open up against a Top 25 team and one of the best programs in the country was certainly a thril, but we have to perform better both mentally and physically", remarked Head Coach Sean Cashman following the game.

"We have to get better in every aspect of the game. Although I felt the effort and enthusiasm were there, we have to perform at a higher standard.  I believe we will get there, but it's a long uphill battle to consistently compete against top competition like we faced this afternoon."

Zach Hopf received the loss for the Peacocks, despite a solid effort on the mound. The junior righty gave up 3 runs (1 earned), 5 hits, 3 walks and struck out 5 in 6 innings of work. 

Virginia's Trey Oest went 6 innings and gave up just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 4 to garner the win.

Saint Peter's scored their lone run in the 7th inning on an RBI pinch hit single to center field by sophomore Nicholas Henriquez. Junior catcher James Smith scored from second after walking to start the inning and advancing to second on a single to right by Matt Speckmann.

Virginia got off to a quick 3-0 start; scoring a run in each of the first, fourth and fifth innings. The Peacocks managed to cut the deficit to 2 following Henriquez's RBI single, but the Cavaliers responded with 3 markers in the bottom of the 7th to reopen a comfortable advantage. The hosts added their last 3 runs in the next inning.

The Peacocks finished with 4 total hits, to the Cavaliers' 11.

Speckmann led the Peacocks going 2-4 on the afternoon and swiped a base. Matt Mancini recorded Saint Peter's first hit on the year, while Henriquez added the fourth. 

In addition to scoring the lone Peacock run, Smith also threw out two would-be base stealers. 

Virginia was led by Branden Cogswell and Brandon Downes, who each finished 3-4 from the plate. Cogswell scored 2 runs and drove a run home, while Downes scored 3 and added an RBI.

The Peacocks return to action this weekend, for a three-game series against Coppin State in Baltimore, Maryland starting Saturday, February 23rd.