OXFORD, Miss. The Virginia baseball team captured its first berth in the College World Series after earning a 5-1 win over Ole Miss Sunday in front of 10,110 spectators at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field in the NCAA Oxford Super Regional. After dropping the first game of the super regional, Virginia rallied to take the final two games and win the series.
The Cavaliers will take on LSU next weekend at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The brackets for the CWS will be announced Monday evening following the conclusion of the super regionals.
Virginia broke a school record with its 48th victory. That tops the 2006 team’s total of 47.
Virginia’s pitching staff pulled together and scattered seven hits and just a first-inning run. Tyler Wilson (So., Midlothian, Va.) worked 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to earn the win and improve to 9-3 this year. He gave up two hits and a walk while fanning three. Matt Packer (Jr., Germantown, Tenn.) pitched two scoreless innings and allowed a pair of hits while striking out one. Kevin Arico (So., Flemington, N.J.) pitched the ninth to finish off the championship.
Robert Poutier (Sr., Yorktown, Va.) started for Virginia and tossed 2.2 innings, giving up one earned run, two hits and two walks while striking out four.
Rebels’ starter Nathan Baker (4-3) pitched five innings, surrendering four runs (two earned), five hits and one walk. He struck out six.
Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) had three hits for the Cavaliers, while Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.) and John Hicks (Fr., Sandy Hook, Va.) each added a pair.
Ole Miss (44-20) scored a run in the first inning. Jordan Henry led off with a double to right-center and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Logan Power. After Poutier struck out Matt Snyder, Matt Smith lined a single to right to plate Henry.
The Cavaliers (48-13-1) knotted the score in the fourth inning while taking advantage of their speed. With one out, Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.) singled up the middle. After numerous tosses to first, Gosselin swiped second without a throw. Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) then walked and the two combined for a double steal. John Hicks (Fr., Sandy Hook, Va.) then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Gosselin.
Virginia posted three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead. Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) ripped a single to left to open the inning, then stole second. Franco Valdes (Jr., Miami, Fla.) hit a 1-2 Baker offering up the middle for a single to score Proscia. John Barr (So., Ivyland, Pa.) then hit a chopper which shortstop Kevin Mort booted, allowing Valdes to move to third. One out later, Tyler Cannon (Jr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring home Valdes. Gosselin then slapped a single to right to score Barr from second and push the UVa lead to 4-1.
The Cavaliers added an insurance run in the eighth inning off Ole Miss closer Jake Morgan. Hicks led off with a double to left-center, and Hultzen followed with a single to left to move Hicks to third. Proscia then drilled a double into the left-field corner to score Hicks, with Hultzen stopping at third.
For Cavalier fans interested in following the UVa Baseball team to Omaha for the College World Series, UVa Athletics and the Virginia Athletics Foundation have partnered with Premiere Global Sports College Division to assist you with booking your travel. Please call them toll free at 1-800-553-5527 for assistance in booking commercial air or hotel reservations. Offices will be open at 8 a.m. on Monday.