Baseball eliminated from NCAA tournament play

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Junior first baseman Pavin Smith stepped to bat and smashed a three-run homer.

Chelsea Bengson | Cavalier Daily

The second-seeded Cavaliers played their third NCAA tournament game in Fort Worth, Texas Monday. They faced off against the third-seeded Dallas Baptist Patriots in a game where the winner received a chance to move on in the tournament and play first-seeded Texas Christian.

Virginia (43-16, 18-12 ACC) came off a tough ACC tournament, looking to return to form on both ends. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Casey stepped up in the first game of the double-elimination round against Dallas Baptist (42-20, 15-6 Heartland), and the Cavaliers notched the win at 6-3.

A huge test stood in the way of a regional final appearance, as rain delays forced sophomore left-hander Daniel Lynch to begin his night on the mound later than expected. Texas Christian (44-16, 16-8 Big 12) won the contest 5-1 behind dominant pitching.

By the time Virginia played its 3 p.m. elimination game against Dallas Baptist, they seemed out of energy, giving up nine runs in the first two innings. Pitching and fielding errors continued in a nightmare second inning that pushed the game out of hand.

Virginia was only outhit five to seven before weather stopped play in the bottom of the eighth inning. After approximately an hour-long rain delay the Cavaliers had one more chance to save their season.

Down 11-3, Virginia rallied to put up five runs in the top of the ninth. Junior shortstop Ernie Clement and junior centerfielder Adam Haseley hit in runs before junior first baseman Pavin Smith stepped to bat and smashed a three-run homer.

The rally was short lived, however, as Virginia ultimately fell, 11-8, in its third NCAA tournament game.

The Cavaliers are now eliminated from NCAA tournament play. Dallas Baptist now faces a best-of-three series against TCU Monday night to determine which team will advance to the super regional.

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