Cavaliers Turn Tables vs. Ole Miss, Rally to Win Game 2
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OXFORD, Miss. Trailing Ole Miss 3-2 in the eighth inning, the Virginia baseball team rallied to score two in the inning and then held on in a tense ninth inning to record a 4-3 win over the Rebels Saturday in front of a raucous stadium-record crowd of 10,323 at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field in the NCAA Oxford Super Regional.
The super regional is now tied at a game apiece. The deciding third game will be played at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN. The winner of the game will earn a berth in the College World Series. UVa is seeking its first CWS berth, while Ole Miss is aiming for its first bid since 1972. UVa won a coin flip and will be the designated home team Sunday, as it was on Saturday.
With the victory, Virginia tied a school record with its 47th win this year. It matches the mark set by the 2006 team.
Andrew Carraway (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) earned the win on the mound with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief and improved to 8-1 this year. Matt Packer (Jr., Germantown, Tenn.) came on with a runner at third and one out in the ninth and held the Rebels at bay to earn his third save.
Virginia (47-13-1) had been stifled for much of the day by Ole Miss southpaw Drew Pomeranz, but he left after throwing 146 pitches in seven innings. The Cavaliers then went to work against reliever David Goforth (1-1), scoring a pair of runs in the eighth inning to take the lead.
With one out, Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda, Md.) reached on a throwing error. He stole second, and Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) followed with a walk. Franco Valdes (Jr., Miami, Fla.) then ripped a single into right field to score Hultzen and tie the game, with Proscia moving to third. John Barr (So., Ivyland, Pa.) followed with a grounder in the hole at shortstop. Kevin Mort got the forceout at second but the speedy Barr beat the throw to first to allow Proscia to score.
The Rebels (44-19) tried to come back in the ninth inning for the second straight game. Zach Miller lined Carraway’s first pitch just inside the third-base line for a double. Mort then sacrificed Miller to third. Packer came on in relief and got Michael Hubbard to lift a shallow fly to left-center, which Shane Halley (Fr., Burke, Va.), in as a defensive sub and playing deep, tracked down while holding the runner at third. After Packer fell behind 2-0 to pinch hitter Tim Ferguson, the Cavaliers elected to walk him and face Jordan Henry, who grounded out to second baseman Keith Werman (Fr., Vienna, Va.) to end the game and tie the series.
Robert Morey (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) started for Virginia and went five-plus innings. He allowed hits to the first two batters of the game, but did not surrender another. He struggled with his control, though, and walked a career-high five while fanning four.
Pomeranz, after pitching 17 innings in the regional, worked seven strong innings against UVa and gave up two earned runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out 10.
Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.) and Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda, Md.) each recorded a pair of hits for Virginia. Gosselin also stole two bases and finished with 21 this year tied for eighth most in a single season in UVa history. The Cavaliers had their running game in full gear with five stolen bases. Barr added a pair of RBI as well as a stolen base.
Ole Miss got off to a great start, as Henry hit the game’s second pitch for a double and Logan Power ripped Morey’s next offering for a home run to left field to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.
Virginia scored in the third inning. With one out, Barr walked following a nine-pitch at bat. He then stole second base. One out later, Tyler Cannon (Jr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) singled up the middle on a 3-2 pitch to plate Barr. The Cavaliers then loaded the bases with two out, but Pomeranz got John Hicks (Fr., Sandy Hook, Va.) to fly out to right to end the inning.
The Cavaliers tied the game in the fourth inning. Hultzen led off with a single to right field. With two out, Barr went opposite field and doubled down the right-field line, scoring Hultzen from first.
Ole Miss forged back ahead in the sixth. Matt Snyder and Matt Smith drew consecutive walks to start the inning. Carraway came on and gave up an RBI single to Kyle Henson, with Smith getting throw out at third on the play and Henson moving to second. Miller then singled to right center, with Henson moving to third. Carraway then got a double-play grounder from David Phillips to escape further damage.