Baseball: Cavaliers fall in Super Regionals
Bulldogs overpower Virginia in two-game sweep
Rain may have given the No. 6 Virginia baseball team a second wind Monday, but a late rally was not enough to prevent elimination, as the Cavaliers fell in consecutive games to Mississippi State in the Charlottesville Super Regional to end their run in the NCAA Tournament.
A normally stellar Cavalier pitching staff struggled from the onset, as freshman Brandon Waddell gave up two runs in the top of the first inning Saturday. His teammates responded quickly, putting up three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, but the Mississippi State offense would prove too powerful for Virginia (50-12) to keep pace. Aided by four Cavalier fielding errors, the Bulldogs (48-18) piled on eight runs between the third and sixth innings. Virginia drove in two runs in the sixth to pull within 10-6, but the fearsome Mississippi State bullpen kept them from getting any closer, as sophomore Ross Mitchell pitched the final 3.2 innings of the game. Giving up just two hits to seal the 11-6 win.
Virginia turned to redshirt senior Scott Silverstein for the start in Sunday’s elimination game but he struggled as well, giving up five runs in 3.1 innings of work. Virginia could only muster one run early on a home run from sophomore Brandon Downes, but the Cavaliers narrowed the lead to 5-3 in the sixth on a 2-RBI double from sophomore Nate Irving. In the bottom of the seventh inning, a large rainstorm forced the game to be suspended, and the game picked up Monday afternoon. Junior Kyle Crockett gave up a run in the seventh to give Mississippi State a 6-3 lead, and the it proved to be too much to overcome. Virginia managed two runs in the top of the ninth, but the Bulldogs took the 6-5 win to advance to the College World Series in Omaha.