June 2, 2013


Virginia's Offense Erupts to Win Charlottesville Regional

By Phil Stanton

CBI Co-Founder @roadtoomaha


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Derek Fisher picked a great time for his first NCAA tourney hit.


Fisher had a two-run single in a six-run third as top-seeded Virginia hammered No. 3 Elon 11-3 to win the Charlottesville Regional in front of 3,792 fans at Davenport Field.


The Cavaliers (50-10) will host the winner of the Starkville Regional, either Mississippi State or Central Arkansas, in the Charlottesville Super Regional next weekend. The Phoenix finish the year at 34-30.


Virginia beat Army 2-1 on Friday and Elon 2-0 on Saturday before Sunday’s regional finale.


“A lot had been made of the first two ballgames and how they had been won on pitching and defense,” said Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor, “but tonight we continued to play defense, but we had a tremendous offensive day collectively as a group.”


The Cavaliers trailed 3-0 before exploding for six runs in the bottom of the third, more than they had scored in the previous 20 innings combined in the regional. Fisher, a sophomore who was 0 for 23 in the NCAA Tournament over the past two years, lined a two-run single to knot the score at 3.


“It was obviously something I’d been in for a week and a half,” Fisher said, “coming up to bat with runners in scoring position. To actually come through and be clutch for the club in that point in time was nice. I pretty much stuck with the same thing I’d been doing all weekend and tried to produce a hit, and fortunately it went through.”


Nick Howard also drove in a pair in the third with a base hit as UVa built a 6-3 advantage.


In the fourth, Brandon Downes had an RBI double and scored on a base hit by Fisher as Virginia extended its lead to 8-3. The Cavaliers added single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth for the final margin.


Freshman David Rosenberger (3-0) was outstanding out of the pen for the Cavaliers, taking the mound in the top of the fourth. He worked five scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Rosenberger faced the minimum 15 over those five frames, as two double plays erased the two runners who reached on hits.


“For a freshman to pitch in that situation was just tremendous,” O’Connor said. “I know he was waiting for the right opportunity and tonight was that opportunity. He certainly made the most of it.”


Elon struck in the top of the first. Quinn Bower ripped a leadoff double into the left field corner. Alex Swim sacrificed him to third. Ryan Kinsella launched a home run to left, his 21st, as the Phoenix to a 2-0 lead. Casey Jones added an RBI double with two away in the top of the third as Elon built a 3-0 cushion.


“I’m proud of my club and the effort we have put forth the past two or three weeks,” said Elon head coach Mike Kennedy. “They showed a lot of character and a lot of grit, a lot of what we believe is important in a player. When you play hard and won’t quit, good things can happen for you. I’m thankful to be on this ride with them.”