June 8, 2014


Virginia Forces Game 3 Against Maryland

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com @RoadToOmaha


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia struggled Saturday in Game 1 of the Charlottesville Super Regional to come up with hits with runners in scoring position, stranding 14.


The Cavaliers remedied that on Sunday.


After dropping a 5-4 decision on Saturday, Virginia, the No. 3 national seed, scored in each of its final four at-bats to defeat Maryland 7-3 in front of 5,001 fans at Davenport Field and even their Super Regional at one game apiece. The third and deciding game will be played at 7 p.m. on Monday.


The Cavaliers (48-14) took the lead for good in the top of the sixth after stranding seven over the first five frames. With the game tied at 1, Kenny Towns (3 for 5) laced a leadoff double down the left-field line and ended up on third when the ball was misplayed. John La Prise grounded out to short to bring home Towns and make it 2-1.


“I had a lot of confidence today,” Towns said. “Yesterday we were really squaring the balls up, but they weren’t falling for us. Everybody did a good job of sticking to our approach today. We happened to have some of them fall for us.”


The Terrapins (40-22) tried to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Tim Lewis drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a two-out base hit by Anthony Papio (2 for 4), ending the afternoon for starter Brandon Waddell (9-3, 5.2 IP, 7 H, R, 3 BB).


Artie Lewicki, the projected Game 3 starter, was summoned from the bullpen for his first relief appearance after 15 starts. He struck out Kevin Martir (2 for 4) on three pitches to quell the threat.


“It has been awhile since I’ve come out of the pen, so I was definitely excited,” Lewicki said. “I just tried to go out there and throw strikes and it worked out.” 


Virginia, which finished with 17 hits, took advantage of an opportunity in the top of the seventh to create some breathing room. Daniel Pinero (3 for 5, 2 R) hit a grounder to second. First baseman LaMonte Wade went too far in the hole in an attempt to field the ball and could not get back to the bag. Pitcher Mike Shawaryn was late covering the bag, giving Pinero an infield single. Mike Papi (3 for 5) had a base hit to center, and Joe McCarthy (1 for 4) was hit by a pitch to load the bases and end the day for Shawaryn (11-4, 6 IP, 12 H 5 R, BB, 2 K). Derek Fisher (2 for 4) delivered a sacrifice fly, and Towns and Downes (2 for 5) added RBI singles to give Virginia a 5-1 advantage.


“The back half of the game we found a way to punch those guys across and open the game up a little bit,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said.


The Cavs added single runs in each of the final two innings as McCarthy delivered an RBI single in the eighth and Brandon Cogswell lined a run-scoring double in the ninth.


“We’ve got a veteran offensive group,” O'Connor said. “I had a really good feeling that this team would rise up today. Certainty there is a lot of talent on this ball club and they showed that today.”


Lewicki was dominant, retiring the Terps in order in the seventh and eighth. Maryland scored a pair of unearned runs in the ninth to narrow the gap. Lewicki allowed two hits and two unearned runs in 3.1 innings with one strikeout to record his first save.


The Cavs had baserunners in each of the first two innings, but no runs. Virginia broke through in the top of the third. Backup catcher Robbie Coman (1 for 3, 2 BB, 2 R) had a one-out single and moved to second on a base hit by Cogswell. With two away, Papi singled to right to plate Coman and give the Cavs a 1-0 lead.


The Terps tied it in the bottom of the fifth. Martir had a one-out single, moved to second on a walk to Charlie White and scored on a two-out base hit by Brandon Lowe (3 for 4) to even the score at 1.


“It could have gone a lot better for us,” Maryland head coach John Szefc said. “But the bottom line is that it’s a three-game series and, realistically, it’s hard to come in here and beat these guys in the first two. We just have to re-gather ourselves and flush this really quick and come back mentally prepared tomorrow.”


Virginia had some key defensive plays, especially early in the game, to keep Maryland off the scoreboard. The Terps had runners on the corners with two away in the first when Papi made a nice over-the-shoulder catch behind first. A leadoff base runner was erased on a line-drive double play in the third. Maryland loaded the bases with one away in the fourth before Cogswell turned in an unassisted double play, snaring a line drive and stepping on second to end the inning. The Cavaliers turned a third double play in the ninth to stop a late Terrapins rally.


“I thought we had a lot of good swings,” Szefc said. “We hit some balls hard right at people. We had a couple of speed bumps on the base paths, but that’s going to happen at times. We’ve been pretty good about that for most of the year. I think it was one of those days where a lot of things didn’t go our way.”



  • Virginia had 17 hits on Sunday, matching its second-highest NCAA tourney total. The Cavaliers had 17 against Richmond in 1972 and racked up 18 against Princeton in 1996.

  • During the Charlottesville Super Regional, Virginia has had at least one hit in 16 of its 18 innings.

  • Mike Papi has reached base eight time in 10 plate appearances in the Super Regional.

  • Maryland lost for the first time in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.