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Virginia baseball falls to Mississippi State 6-5, still remains in the College World Series

The Cavaliers were victims of an eighth-inning rally by the Bulldogs

<p>McGarry shut down nearly every scoring opportunity for the Bulldogs —&nbsp;only allowing one hit in 7.1 innings of work.</p>

McGarry shut down nearly every scoring opportunity for the Bulldogs — only allowing one hit in 7.1 innings of work.

After swiftly shutting down Tennessee in the first game of the College World Series, Virginia remained in the winner’s bracket and took on Mississippi State. The Cavaliers (36-26, 18-18 ACC) were up 4-0 up until the eighth inning, when the momentum and the score quickly shifted in favor of the Bulldogs (47-16, 20-10 SEC). 

Senior right-hander Griff McGarry started on the mound for Virginia and was quick to sit down batters. His defensive power translated onto the offense, as well, who scored a run in the first inning.

Junior third baseman Zack Gelof was the first Cavalier up to the plate and he produced a single for the team. Next, sophomore second baseman Max Cotier sacrificed to advance Gelof to second base, who then ran home after freshman right-fielder Kyle Teel sent up a breaking ball pitch.

In the bottom of the second inning, Virginia again got off to a brisk start. An RBI double from sophomore centerfielder Chris Newell down the left center, an RBI double from Gelof down the left line and an RBI single from Cotier all combined to bring the Cavaliers up 4-0 in just the second inning.

Things were going well for Virginia for the next few innings as McGarry continued to squelch Mississippi State’s batters, though the Cavaliers’ offense did not produce any new runs.

Heading into the eighth, the score was still 4-0 and McGarry was still pitching for Virginia. Eventually, McGarry allowed the first Bulldog hit of the game — a two-run homer that cut their deficit in half. He came off the mound after this, which started a two-inning stretch where the Cavaliers would run through four other pitchers from their bullpen.

Mississippi State went up 5-4 following a three-run homer, then made it 6-4 with a single that plated one of its runners. This six-run eighth proved to be too much for Virginia who never mounted a comeback, despite a solo home run from Newell in the bottom of the inning that brought his team within one.

This loss sent the Cavaliers into the elimination bracket of the College World Series — meaning that they must win three more this week to head to the championship series. Their next test will be at 7 p.m. Thursday against No. 2 Texas. Thus far in the postseason, the Cavaliers are 6-0 when facing elimination.

Correction: A previous version of this article said the Cavaliers must win twice and has been updated to reflect that they must win three more games — once against Texas and twice against Mississippi State.

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