Baseball Suffers 3-2 Walkoff Loss to UCLA in NCAA Opener
FULLERTON, Calif. UCLA’s Chris Giovinazzo scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Bruins walked off with a 3-2 win over Virginia in the first game of the NCAA Fullerton Regional at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Virginia drops into the consolation bracket and will play Rider at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. The game will be televised by ESPNU, while the radio broadcast is available on WINA (1070 AM).
The winning run scored on a crazy play in the ninth inning. With one out and runners on first and second, UCLA’s Cody Decker hit a grounder to third baseman Tyler Cannon (So., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.). Cannon then threw to first baseman Jeremy Farrell (Jr., Westlake, Ohio), who lost the ball in the bright sunlight over the third-base bleachers and could not make a play on the ball. The ball then rolled down the first-base line, allowing Giovinazzo to score.
Phil Gosselin (Fr., West Chester, Pa.) led Virginia with three hits, while David Adams (Jr., Margate, Fla.) had two hits and an RBI. Mickey Weisser had three hits for the Bruins, while Jermaine Curtis added two.
Neither starting pitcher earned a decision. Virginia’s Jacob Thompson (Jr., Danville, Va.) tossed six strong innings, allowing two earned runs, seven hits, one walk and two strikeouts. UCLA starter Tim Murphy was equally strong, pitching 7.2 innings and allowing two runs (one earned), eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
Matt Packer (So., Germantown, Tenn.) threw 2.1 innings, giving up an unearned run and three hits. He took the loss and fell to 6-3 this season. UCLA reliever Brendan Lafferty (4-3) earned the win after pitching a perfect ninth inning.
UCLA (32-25) got on the board first with a run in the opening inning. Curtis led off with a double and moved to third on a bunt single by Blair Dunlap. Alden Carrithers then grounded out to plate Curtis and give UCLA a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins added a run in the fourth inning on a Weisser single with the bases loaded. Thompson, who loaded the bases with no outs, escaped further damage by inducing Brady Dolan to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Virginia (38-22) cut the lead in half in the sixth inning, as Greg Miclat (Jr., Concord, N.C.) led off with a walk and moved to third on a Cannon double. Adams followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Miclat. The Virginia rally was snuffed out though when the Bruins performed the hidden ball trick following the sacrifice fly and tagged Cannon out at third.
The Cavaliers tied the game in the eighth inning. With one out, Cannon lofted a deep fly ball to left center field that Weisser dropped for an error, allowing Cannon to reach second. Adams followed with a single to move Cannon to third, and Farrell hit a drive to right field that Dolan made a diving catch on, but Cannon scored on the sacrifice fly to knot the score at two.
Game Notes NCAA Fullerton Regional Game 1
– Virginia made its fifth-straight appearance and eighth all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Cavaliers are 11-15 all-time in the tournament.
– Virginia played its first-ever game in the state of California and matched up with a California opponent for the first time as well.
– David Adams had two hits to pass John Galloway (1994-97, 223) and move into sole possession of ninth place on the UVa all-time chart.
– Jacob Thompson made his 47th career start. He stands third all-time at Virginia, two shy of the UVa career record of 49, held by Joe Koshansky (2001-04) and Brandon Creswell (1998-01).
– Phil Gosselin tied a career high with three hits. He has had three hits in a game four other times, with the last coming April 29 against Mount St. Mary’s.
– Jeremy Farrell had an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. It gives him 52 RBI this season as he moves into 17th place on the UVa single-season ledger.