June 15, 2009

Game 5 Notes

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Werman, Hultzen Lead Cavaliers past Titans

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

OMAHA, Neb. – The big hits didn’t come on Saturday for Virginia, but they did on Monday.


No. 9 hitter Keith Werman had two of the four two-out run-scoring hits for the Cavaliers as Virginia eliminated Cal State Fullerton 7-5 in the College World Series in front of 17,589 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Cavaliers (49-14-1) will face the loser of the Arkansas-LSU game on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. CT. The Titans finish the season with a 47-16 mark.


“This team has shown me time and time again to be a very resilient group,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “They’ve bounced back from defeat. I don’t know if there’s anything better you could have said about yourself than somebody that doesn’t just lay down. They come back fighting. We came out and play a really great ballgame today.”


Fullerton got on the board first as Dustin Garneau belted his fifth homer, a two-run shot in the second.


Virginia answered with four in the bottom of the frame, more earned runs than starter Daniel Renken had surrendered in any start this season. John Hicks had a run-scoring single with one out, while Werman added a two-out RBI single and Danny Hultzen (right) knocked in a pair with a base hit as the Cavs took a 4-2 lead.


“No matter where he puts me in the lineup I’m going to do what I can to execute for the team,” Werman said, “to do whatever I can.”   


Christian Colon went deep to lead off the third, his eighth, to pull Fullerton to within one.


UVa added insurances runs in the middle innings as Phil Gosselin had an RBI single in the fifth, and one inning later, Werman had an RBI double and Cannon added a run-scoring single with two outs as the Cavs pushed the lead to 7-3.


“Keith Werman is winning over the hearts of the people here in Omaha,” O’Connor said. “He’s a special, gutty player. He comes up big again today.”


Five pitchers combined to give Virginia its first College World Series victory. Andrew Carraway (9-1) pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief with four hits, two walks and one strikeout.


“I thought Andrew Carraway coming in after [starter Robert] Morey did a nice job because the game was on the ropes a little bit,” O’Connor said. “They had a little bit of momentum working and he calmed us down and that’s what your senior veteran players do.”


Renken (11-3) allowed six hits and six earned runs in 5.2 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.


“It was falling behind in counts, letting hitters get comfortable in the box, and just not sticking to my game plan,” Renken said. “No question Virginia is a good team, but I made them look a lot better than they should have been doing.”


Werman finished with two hits, two runs and two RBI. Jared Clark and Gary Brown both had three hits and one RBI for the Titans.


“It was a pleasure to be here again with this team,” Fullerton head coach Dave Serrano said. “Unfortunately, we’re not staying as long as we anticipated. We just didn’t play very good baseball here. This definitely wasn’t the same team that we saw over the last five or six weeks of our season.”


(photo by Jimmy Jones)