Virginia-Maryland Game 2 Notes & Quotes
June 6, 2015
VIRGINIA POST-GAME NOTES
Â• Virginia advances to the College World Series for the fourth time in program history and for the fourth time in the past seven seasons.
Â• Three of UVa’s College World Series-clinching berths came at Davenport Field. It’s the first time UVa has swept a Super Regional. UVa advanced in Game 3 of a Super Regional three previous times (Ole Miss – 2009, UC Irvine – 2011, Maryland – 2014).
Â• UVa defeats Maryland in the Super Regional round for the second season in a row.
Â• UVa’s Ernie Clement drove in the tying and winning run with his ninth-inning single with the bases loaded. It was the second time in program history UVa has advanced to the College World Series on a walk-off hit. UVa also did so against UC Irvine in 2011.
Â• Clement’s walk-off hit was UVa’s third of the season and the first since a 5-4 triumph over Cornell in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on March 1.
Â• Virginia is now 47-32 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 9-7 in the super regional round.
Â• UVa is now 26-17 all-time at Davenport Field in the NCAA Tournament.
Â• UVa is now 7-6 at Davenport Field in the Super Regional round.
Â• Twenty-six of Virginia’s 33 runs in the NCAA Tournament have been scored in the sixth inning or later.
Â• Virginia started the game hitting 4-of-5 and taking an early 2-1 lead. After UVa tallied four-straight singles off starter Ryan Selmer, Maryland brought in left-handed pitcher Robert Galligan with one our in the bottom of the first. UVa proceeded to go only 1-of-14 off of Galligan until Matt Thaiss’ single in the bottom of the sixth.
Â• Galligan held UVa hitters to 4-of-25 the rest of the way.
Â• Virginia batted 0-for-8 with two outs.
Â• The only UVa leadoff hitter to reach base all game was in the ninth inning when Pavin Smith started the rally with a walk.
Â• Ernie Clement was 2-for-15 in the NCAA Tournament entering Game 2 of the Charlottesville Super Regional. He went 2-for-3 with two RBI, including the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Â• Matt Thaiss tallied two hits to extend his team lead with 24 multi-hit games.
Â• LHP Brandon Waddell pitched a season-high 8.0 innings.
Â• With his first-inning RBI, Kenny Towns increases his UVa record for career RBI in the NCAA Tournament to 21.
Â• Announced attendance was a capacity 5,001, brining the total attendance of the two games of the Charlottesville Super Regional to 10,002.
MARYLAND POST-GAME NOTES
Â• Maryland is 9-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Â• Maryland is 1-4 all-time in the super regional round.
Â• After winning Game 1 of the Charlottesville Super Regional in 2014 at Davenport Field, Maryland has lost four straight Super Regional games, all to Virginia in Charlottesville.
Â• Maryland finishes 2015 with a school-record 42 wins.
Â• Maryland had five sacrifice bunts, the most for the Terrapins in 2015.
Â• Maryland was 4-of-11 with 2 RBI when batting with two outs.
Â• Maryland leadoff hitters were 5-of-9. In turn, Maryland pitchers limited UVa leadoff hitters to 1-of-9. Only UVa leadoff hitter to reach base was Pavin Smith, who led off the decisive ninth inning with a walk.
Â• Robert Galligan pitched 7.2 innings of relief after being summoned with one out in the bottom of the first inning. It was the left-handed pitcher’s longest relief outing of the season and his career.
Â• Galligan loaded bases with no outs in the top of the ninth inning before being taken out for closer Kevin Mooney, who blew the save. Galligan was charged with the loss.
Â• RHP Kevin Mooney picked up blew his second save in as many days after allowing three runs to UVa in the top of the eighth inning in Game 1 of the Charlottesville Super Regional.
Virginia Head Coach Brian O’Connor
“The University of Maryland, we have had some very memorable games with them in this ballpark the last two years with them, and they are as well-coached a team as you will find in the country. I admire Coach Szefc, he is a friend, and they should be really proud of the year that they had. Hopefully they can keep their chins up. We have been there before. You are proud of every team that you coach. I have said it over the last few weeks, this one is really, really special. I couldn’t be more proud of them and how they have handled themselves. This game is a reflection of our season. We hung in there, the guys didn’t quit, and we found a way. That is what they have done all year long. It is amazing, different guys on different days. The job that Brandon Waddell did was really terrific. Just like Connor Jones yesterday, he hung in there and gave us a chance to win. Brandon Waddell did the same thing today. There was a time in the eighth inning, we thought about going out there and getting them, but I just couldn’t take the ball out of the kid’s hand. Even though he gave up the one run, he never let it get out of reach. Talk about a magical ninth inning. I am sure a lot of people will talk about the 2011 walk-off against Irvine and this one. This one I think is better. It is really hard to do, what this team has done. College baseball games are hard to win. You are seeing that across the country. What this team has done is remarkable and they have earned the right to continue to play next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. That is why you come to the University of Virginia to play baseball.”
On Ernie Clement’s game-winning hit:
“He made some mistakes early on, but he didn’t hang his head, he didn’t feel sorry for himself and his teammates didn’t get on him about it. That is a sign of maturity. If Ernie sits there and pouts and feels sorry for himself, he doesn’t do what he did in the ninth inning. What an unbelievable characteristic to have. It’s like Chris Taylor. Remember back in ’11, the ball trickled off his glove and went into right-centerfield. He felt terrible about that and thought he cost his team the game. Then he gets up and gets the game-winning hit. I think it is a good example of what our team is about.”
On overcoming early struggles this season:
“There were many days and nights of frustration. My expectations and my coaching staff’s expectations are going to be higher than anybody’s. We did learn something as a coaching staff this year. What we went through this season is a great lesson. You can’t take winning for granted. Wins are hard to come by. If you stick by the players and continue to believe in them and work with them, it is amazing what they can accomplish. These players never had doubt. They believed that they deserved to win. You have to have those qualities in order to accomplish what they did last weekend and this weekend.”
On putting pressure on Maryland in the ninth:
“If you get that leadoff guy on, then all of a sudden, you think if someone hits the ball out of the ballpark, it’s a tie game. You start being a little more fine as a pitcher and maybe that is what happened. Then you get the first two guys on and then, as a pitcher, you feel like you can’t walk this guy and it distracts the mind. It was huge to get the leadoff guy on. We were the home team. I kept saying in the dugout, hang in there, we are the home team and we get to bat last. That is why it is an advantage to be on the bottom of that scoreboard. Today was a great example.”
On the bottom of the lineup producing in the Super Regional:
“It is what this season has been all about. We need everybody. When Joe McCarthy came back, it was a real difference in our lineup. Not just because of him in the lineup, but it also spread our lineup out more. It gave it more depth. Kevin Doherty is up there, bases loaded, and I am sure the kid is excited, but he has enough patience and calmness to not swing at pitches off the plate and draws the walk. Then our nine-hole hitter goes up there and wins the game off one of the best closers in the country. It is hard to explain.”
Virginia second Baseman Ernie Clement
On the walk-off hit…
“I went up there pretty loose. I was looking for a fastball at first, but what we saw in the report was his go-to was a breaking ball, so that turned out to be what I got and I put it in play.”
On his approach for the walk-off at-bat…
“I definitely had to be selective, he was a little sporadic with his pitches, but he gave me something to handle with two strikes and I took advantage I guess.”
Virginia catcher Matt Thaiss
On Clement’s walk-off…
“I think I’m going to go buy a lottery ticket after this because I told Ernie he was going to get up that inning and he was going to come up with a big hit so I’m going to go do that first. I also told our strength and conditioning coach in the dugout that Ernie looked a lot like Chris Taylor. It all kind of worked out.”
On Brandon Waddell’s start …
“Like Connor (Jones) did yesterday, like Brandon and both Connor did in the regional, they managed when guys got on base. Base hit to lead off the inning or double or walk whatever it was, very rarely did that guy score. I think that played a key role into us staying in the game for both days this weekend.”
Virginia pitcher Brandon Waddell
On Clement’s walk-off…
“We were in a big situation, kind of like Matt (Thaiss) said, we had confidence in all of our guys, so we knew the big hit was coming, it was any time, just a matter of when.”
On this team and the season…
“It kind of goes back to the fact that we may have been missing some guys but we really truly trust all the guys there. We knew if one guy falls, another guy is going to step up and that has been our approach most of the year.”
Maryland Coach John Szefc
“It didn’t end up what we wanted it to. It’s two teams going at each other for two days. It’s tough when you lose a game like that in the fashion that we did, particularly today. But I give our guys a lot of credit – they played hard, Rob [Galligan] did a great job. [He] almost went the full distance after coming in the first, had some big hits, but we just did not get it done at the end, its just the way it was.”
On takeaways from Super Regional experience…
“The toughness of the teams, very resilient. We’ve played nine games here and its tough, it’s a very tough place to play and they make it that way. They play such good defense and they pitch well. They upgrade their game when they need to and that’s what teams who go to Omaha do, that’s why they go there.”
On what he will tell the team about the year…
“We will hammer out all of the positive things, this has been a great year for our program. We set the school record for wins and we were in the Super Regional. I have nothing negative to say to these guys. It is important for those guys to walk away from today feeling good about themselves, even though its going to be difficult to do, we will do it. We have a very good group next year and we look forward to it.”
Maryland pitcher Robert Galligan
On going deep into the game…
“I didn’t know when the last batter was going to be. I didn’t know when I was going to come out, so I was just trying to last as long as I could to give my team a chance to win.”
Maryland right Fielder Anthony Papio
On what the Maryland game plan was for today…
“We had a lead, but our plan was to extend that lead and try and play for one [run] and give ourselves as much of a (good) position that we could get. We gave ourselves a good chance at the end, but they just came through.”