UVA 8 Rider 2
Coach Brian O’Connor was very happy with Andrew Carraway’s performance tonight: “Carraway I felt was in command of the game from the start, unfortunately he ran out of gas a little at the end, but he did exactly what we needed him to do, and that’s pitch deep into the ball game in an elimination game and save the bullpen.”
The offense really got going for Virginia in the fourth inning with a leadoff single by catcher Franco Valdes to center. Center field John Barr followed with a double down the left field line that could have been stopped by third baseman Mason Heyne. Tyler Cannon then grounded to third, and instead of going home with the throw to contain Valdes, Heyne threw to first to get Cannon out, while Valdes scored. With Rider being in a win or go home situation, they could have used a more aggressive performance from Heyne. Miclat then singled, scoring Barr, followed by right fielder David Coleman hitting a line drive double to left that got by the diving LF Mo Williams, scoring Miclat from 1st. Jimmer Kennedy was able to get out the 4th inning without any further damage after David Adams flew out to center and Jeremy Farrell struck out swinging, but this left Rider at a 4-0 deficit.
Rider got back into the game in top of the 7th inning as the Rider Broncs cut the 4-0 lead in half. Mason Heyne redeemed made up for his defense, with runners on first and second, Heyne doubled to left scoring Steve Galella, followed by Mo Williams sacrifice fly to deep right, scoring Olson and advancing Heyne to third. Virginia’s pitching coach then made a mound visit to Carraway, and got halfway there when he remembered to get a pair of sunglasses for first baseman Jeremy Farrell, who lost a throw from third in the sun yesterday, resulting in an error and the winning run for UCLA. Carraway then struck out David Hayes looking on a 1-2 pitch, then got John Ralston to ground out to second base, ending the Rider rally as they were only able to score two, leaving a man on third.
Carraway said of stopping the rally, “I was able to define it more than I had earlier in the game, and I put a lot of confidence in that pitch, and that helped me get through the 7th inning and keep the runner on third.”
Virginia’s early great offense stagnated in the middle innings and Rider looked to take advantage, knocking Carraway out of the game in the top of the 8th after a leadoff single by CF Jon Leise. The Cavaliers brought in 6-8 reliever Michael Schwimer to pitch. He got 1B Matt McCollum to line out to right, and then got Rider leadoff man James Hayes to ground into an ending inning double play.
That was the last real chance for the Rider Broncs as their defense failed them in the bottom of the 8th. A fielding error by Mason Heyne and a dropped ball at first by second baseman Steve Galella resulted in two baserunners for the Cavaliers. Rider brought in RF James Hayes to pitch to the heart of the Cavalier order. David Adams executed a perfect bunt single to third to load the bases for cleanup hitter Jeremy Farrell with nobody out. Farrell hit a towering shot to deep left center, which would have been a sacrifice fly hadn’t CF Jon Leise and Mo Williams run into each other, for the third error of the inning. Miclat scored from third on the play and the bases remained loaded.
After a fielders choice at home, DH Phil Gosselin hit a line drive single to score Coleman. Hayes was able to strike out Valdes, but John Barr came through with his fourth hit of the game, a 2-RBI single to right scoring Adams and Farrell. The inning finally came to an end with a Tyler Cannon flyout to center, but the damage was done with Virginia taking an insurmountable lead, 8-2. All four runs scored were unearned.
Michael Schwimer pitched a perfect 9th to finish Rider’s season and advance to play the winner of the Cal State Fullerton/UCLA game, set to start here at 8 PM local time.
A pretty amazing stat for tonight was that 10 of Virginia’s 14 hits came from his freshman class. When he was told of this statistic, O’Connor was happy but not real surprised, “The young players in our lineup will not back down from challenges.”