June 5, 2017

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FORT WORTH, Texas ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” The Virginia baseball team’s 2017 season came to a conclusion in an 11-8 loss to Dallas Baptist Monday afternoon in the NCAA Fort Worth Regional at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. Trailing by eight runs heading into the ninth inning, Virginia nearly made an epic comeback, scoring five runs and bringing the potential tying run to the plate before falling short. UVA finished the season with a 43-16 record, its 11th 40-win season in the last 14 years.

Dallas Baptist (42-20) advances to face TCU in the regional championship game Monday evening and needs to beat the Horned Frogs twice to advance to the super regional.

Virginia’s offense was held in check for much of the game before exploding late to finish with 11 hits. Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio) went 3-for-4 in the game and finished 8-for-11 in the regional. Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs to finish the season with 77 RBI, a single-season program record. Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) finished the season by reaching base in each of the final 40 games and in 57 of his 58 contests this year.

Virginia pitchers walked seven batters and hit three others, while the defense committed a pair of costly errors in the first two innings. Starter Evan Sperling (So., Poquoson, Va.) struggled with his control and did not record an out while facing four batters. Sperling (3-3) walked two batters and hit two more in taking the loss. Chesdin Harrington (So., Monteplier, Va.) was a bright spot out of the bullpen after working a career-high 4 2/3 innings of shutout baseball and allowing just one walk to keep the Patriots in check.

DBU starter Ray Gaither (6-4) earned the win after working seven innings and giving up three runs (two earned), four hits and five walks while striking out six. Dalton Higgins got the last two outs of the game for his sixth save. Austin Listi hit two home runs and drove in three runs for the Patriots, who finished with eight hits.

Virginia scored a run in the top of the first on an RBI single from Smith, but DBU sent 10 to the plate and scored five runs in its half of the inning despite recording only two hits. UVA walked four batters and hit two more. Sperling was lifted after walking Matt Duce to force in a run. Grant Donahue (So., Berlin, Md.) entered and gave up a two-run single to Tim Millard. One out later Camden Duzenack lined an RBI double to right-center. A bases-loaded walk to Jon Skidmore then spelled the end of the day for Donahue.

Listi hit a two-run homer in the second as the Patriots scored four more runs to stretch their lead. Smith’s RBI groundout in the third made it a 9-2 game.

UVA loaded the bases with none out in the fifth and scored a run on a double-play ball from Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.). Duzenack hit a solo homer in the seventh, his 15th of the year, and Listi added his second of the day in the eighth, his 24th of the year.

After a weather delay in the bottom of the eighth inning, UVA made things interesting by scoring five runs in the ninth inning and twice sending the potential tying run to the plate. Clement hit an RBI single and Haseley followed with a run-scoring double. Smith then launched a mammoth home run to right-center, his 13th of the year and the 28th of his career (sixth in program history). Higgins came on and got a pair of outs to wrap up the game and leave runners at first and second.

2017 NCAA Fort Worth Regional Schedule (all times Eastern and subject to change)
Saturday, June 3

Game 1 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” No. 2 Virginia 6, No. 3 Dallas Baptist 3
Game 2 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” No. 1 TCU 9, No. 4 Central Connecticut State 6

Sunday, June 4
Game 3 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” DBU 6, CCSU 5 (CCSU eliminated)
Game 4 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” TCU 5, Virginia 1

Monday, June 5
Game 5 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” DBU 11, Virginia 8 (UVA eliminated)
Game 6 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” TCU vs. DBU, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 6
Game 7 ÃÆ’Æ‘¢ÃƒÆ’¢’¬” Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), TBA