June 16, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. – Junior first baseman Mike Papi’s (Tunkhannock, Pa.) two-out double to right-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Virginia baseball team (50-14) to a 2-1 victory over Ole Miss (46-20) in the first round of the 2014 Men’s College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.
Virginia will play TCU Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET in a winners’ bracket game. The Horned Frogs rallied for a 3-2 win over Texas Tech on Sunday.
“What a college baseball game,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Ole Miss has a terrific ball club. I was just really proud of our club in all areas. I thought our pitching was outstanding. I thought Nathan Kirby was tremendous tonight. Certainly, in the eighth inning, he probably wants those walks back, but he did a great job of getting us to the eighth inning. Artie Lewicki came in and was really good and gave us a chance to win.”
Sophomore pitcher Nathan Kirby allowed just one hit in his seven-plus innings, but did not factor into the decision. Kirby allowed one run, walking three, including the two batters in the seventh inning, while striking out four. Senior Artie Lewicki (Wyckoff, N.J.) earned the victory, pitching two innings of relief without surrendering a hit. It was the first one-hitter in the College World Series since 1983 and just the fourth CWS one-hitter since the implementation of aluminum bats in 1974.
Ole Miss starter Chris Ellis worked six innings, giving up one run on six hits, walking four and striking out one. Aaron Greenwood took the loss, working 1.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit, walking one and striking out two.
Papi finished the game 2-of-4 with an RBI and a walk. Junior third baseman Kenny Towns (Burke, Va.) also had a pair of hits. Cogswell was 1-for-1 with three base-on-balls.
Virginia scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Junior catcher Nate Irving (Yonkers, N.Y.) and junior second baseman Brandon Cogswell (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) hit back-to-back singles to start the frame. A two-out single up the middle from sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) scored Irving from second.
Ole Miss tied the game in the top of the eighth. After Kirby issued back-to-back walks to start the inning, the Rebels plated the tying run on a one-out ground out to short against Lewicki.
In the bottom of the ninth, Irving drew a leadoff walk. Junior pinch runner Thomas Woodruff (Clifton, Va.) was on second base with two outs when Papi laced the 3-2 pitch to right-center field for a double to score the winning run. It marked the first walk-off win at the CWS since 2011.
The Cavaliers left 11 runners on base in the game, but grinded through to pick up their 50th win of the season. It marks the fourth time in program history – all in the last five years – that Virginia has won 50 or more games.