June 17, 2014
Sparks Virginia past TCU in 15 innings
By Phil Stanton
OMAHA, Neb. - It was going to take a big
play to end this marathon.
Ninth-place hitter Nate Irving had a ground-rule
double to ignite the game-winning rally in the bottom of the
15th as Virginia outlasted TCU 3-2 Tuesday evening in a 4:51
affair in front of 24,285 fans at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Horned Frogs (48-17) will face Ole Miss on
Thursday evening at 7 p.m. CT in an elimination contest. The
winner will meet the Cavaliers (51-14) on Friday evening at 7
p.m. CT in Virginia's first attempt to reach the championship
Irving, who was 1 for 5 entering his final
at-bat, fell behind 0-2 before taking three balls to make it a
full count. He crushed a ball to left that hit on the warning
track and bounced into the Virginia bullpen for a ground-rule
double. Thomas Woodruff, who scored the game-winning run in the
bottom of the ninth in Sunday's 2-1 win over Ole Miss, came in
to pinch-run for Irving.
Branden Cogswell (3 for 5, 2 R) sacrificed
Woodruff to third, bringing Daniel Pinero to the plate. Pinero,
who had committed two errors earlier in the game and struck out
looking in his previous two plate appearances, twice attempted
to lay down a safety squeeze, but both were fouled off. He sent
a 2-2 pitch to center-field that was caught and was deep enough
to bring in Woodruff with the winning run in a game that tied
for the longest by innings in College World Series history.
"Coach Mac (Kevin McMullan) put the bunt sign
down," Pinero said, "and I missed twice, two curveballs. Then I
went into a two-strike approach. He threw me another curveball
and I stayed back and put it in the air and got the job done."
The pitching was exceptional on both sides.
UVa starter Brandon Waddell allowed six hits and
two runs (one earned) in seven innings with no walks and five
strikeouts. Closer Nick Howard gave up one hit and one walk in a
season-high four innings with six strikeouts. Whit Mayberry
worked around two hits and one walk in two frames with a pair of
punchouts. Artie Lewicki (8-1) earned his second win in this
College World Series, retiring all six hitters he faced with two
"Waddell gives up the two runs in the second
inning," O'Connor said, "and then continues to fight and make
some good adjustments and gives us seven strong innings.
Everybody we brought out of the pen did a nice job."
TCU starter Brandon Finnegan worked eight innings
with nine hits and two runs (one earned) with two walks and five
strikeouts. Closer Riley Ferrell also logged four innings with
one hit, one walk and four punchouts. Trey Teakell (2.2 IP, H,
R, 2 K) suffered the loss.
"Premium arms," TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle
said. "It's hard to get upset at your offense when you're facing
that kind of pitching. The pitching was smothering. Then you add
in the park and the conditions, and it's not a good recipe for
After TCU squandered a leadoff double in the top
of the first, Virginia plated a run in the bottom of the frame.
Cogswell had a leadoff double to right, moved to third on a
flyout to right and scored on the errant throw to third.
The Horned Frogs answered in the second. Garrett
Crain (2 for 6) had a leadoff single and moved to third on a
base hit by Jerrick Suiter. Dylan Fitzgerald had a single to
left to drive in Crain to knot the score at 1. Virginia left
fielder Derek Fisher slipped and was able to barehand the ball
and keep it from going to the wall. Suiter later scored on an
error with two away to give TCU a 2-1 advantage.
Virginia tied the game in the fifth. Cogswell had
another leadoff two-bagger, this time to the gap in left-center.
Pinero sacrificed him to third and Mike Papi grounded out to
second to bring home Cogswell with the tying run.
The Cavaliers had a chance to reclaim the lead in
the eighth. Kenny Towns had a one-out double to right. With two
away, Fisher grounded to short and reached first on a throwing
error. Towns was caught in a rundown between third and home,
eventually tagged out in the face by TCU first baseman Kevin
"We threw everything we had at them," O'Connor
said. "I felt this game, the 1-0 game to go 2-0, is really
important and it gives you an extra day's rest. You don't have
to play again until Friday and obviously you have the upper