FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA, Neb. – The Virginia Cavaliers used a strong start from Tyler Wilson and plenty of offense en route to an 8-1 victory over the California Bears in an elimination contest at the 2011 Men’s College World Series Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
Virginia (56-11) also defeated Cal (38-23) in the opening round on Sunday, the first-ever meeting between the two schools, and by advancing have recorded their best MCWS showing in program history. In 11 total appearances, this is the first time the Cavaliers have been included in the final four teams vying for a championship spot.
Virginia, the No. 1 national seed in the field, moves on to face defending champion South Carolina (52-14) and will need to beat the Gamecocks twice in order to advance to the championship series.
Cal’s national finish (tied for fifth) is the program’s best since 1980, when they finished third.
Wilson (10-0) began the game with seven shutout innings, ending his day with 7 2/3 innings while allowing one run, no walks and five strikeouts.
Through seven innings the second team All-ACC selection faced just three over the minimum, retiring the side in order four times. He sat down 11 straight from the final out in the second to the first out in the sixth. The right-hander ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, surrendering two Cal hits, including a double from Austin Booker with two outs, just the second extra-base knock allowed by Wilson on the night.
Reliever Cody Winiarski took over with runners on third and first, spoiling the shutout by allowing an RBI single to short from Tony Renda to put the Bears on the board for the first and only time in the contest. That would be all Cal would muster, however, as Wilson improved to 3-0 in the NCAA postseason with the victory.
The Cavaliers used a two-run third inning and a four-spot in the sixth to back Wilson’s performance. After a single to center from Jared King to open the third inning, Keith Werman reached on an error. The pair advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Chris Taylor, before John Barr cashed in King with a sacrifice fly and John Hicks drove in Werman with a single to left, giving Virginia a 2-0 lead, which chased Cal starter Dixon Anderson (4-4) from the game.
In the sixth, Kenny Swab capitalized on a Darrel Matthews miscue in center field, turning what should have been a single into another run for the Cavaliers. Swab’s liner skirted under Matthews’ glove and rolled to the centerfield wall, allowing Swab to dash around the diamond on a three-base error and extend UVa’s lead to 3-0.
Three batters later, Werman delivered a single to center plating David Coleman, who doubled two batters prior. Chris Taylor followed with a run-scoring double to extend his team-best hitting streak to 15 games and make it 5-0 Virginia. Barr capped the scoring with a base knock through the left side as the Cavaliers concluded the inning with a 6-0 advantage.
After Cal’s single tally in the bottom of the eighth, UVa put the game out of reach with two additional runs in the top of the ninth to cruise to the 8-1 win.
Virginia advances to Friday’s Bracket 2 championship game to play South Carolina and will have to beat the Gamecocks twice to reach the MCWS Championship Finals. South Carolina will be the home team.
California ends its season with a 38-23 record after going 1-2 in the 2011 MCWS. It is the school’s best MCWS finish since a third-place finish in 1980.
*-Tonight’s attendance of 25,833 is the largest crowd in TD Ameritrade Park history, bettering the crowd of 25,521 which saw the Florida/Texas game on June 18th.
*-With Virginia’s win over Cal, it will be the only the second time in the last eight seasons that a national seed is guaranteed to win a national title. The four remaining teams – Virginia (No. 1), Florida (No. 2), South Carolina (No. 4) and Vanderbilt (No. 6) – were all national seeds in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The only other national seed to win a national title since 2004 is LSU (No. 3 seed) in 2009.
*-The final four teams in the MCWS are also the national leaders in wins: Virginia (56); Vanderbilt (54); South Carolina (52) and Florida (52).
*-Three of the top five ERAs in the country remaining after Thursday’s action, including national leader Virginia (2.25, first), Vanderbilt (2.38, third) and South Carolina (2.53).
*-Virginia improves to 2-0 all-time against California, with both matchups in the 2011 MCWS.
*-Virginia’s won is its 56th of the season, extending its own school record. UVa now leads the nation in wins, two wins ahead of Vanderbilt, which plays Florida tomorrow.
*-Virginia is guaranteed of the program’s best-ever finish in the NCAA Tournament with tonight’s win. UVa tied for fifth in its only other MCWS appearance in 2009.
*-Tonight’s crowd of 25,833 is the largest crowd to ever see a Virginia baseball game.
*-Virginia starter Tyler Wilson improved to 10-0 on the season with tonight’s win. He matched his career high with 7.2 innings pitched which he had done twice before this season, most recently against Miami on May 14. He has allowed one run or less in each of his last five starts.
*-Wilson improves to 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three NCAA Tournament starts this season and 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA four NCAA appearances. Wilson earned the win in Virginia’s opening-round win over Cal with 2.1 innings of three-hit relief.
*-Wilson’s 2011 campaign now puts on Virginia’s top-10 single-season lists in strikeouts (124, fifth), wins (10, tied eighth); and innings pitched (104.1, eighth).
*-Wilson ranks second in school history in wins (27), fourth in strikeouts (267), eighth in winning percentage (.794) and 10th in innings (249.1).
*-Virginia’s eight runs ties for the highest single-game total by any team in the MCWS. The last time no team reached double figures in any MCWS game was in 2005.
*-Virginia pitchers now have a 1.69 team ERA in nine NCAA Tournament contests and have allowed two runs or less in all seven of its NCAA wins (allowed 13 runs in its two losses). UVA leads the country with a 2.25 ERA.
*- Virginia improved to 39-6 when scoring first and is 24-2 when scoring at least eight runs in a game. The only losses came to Florida State (3/20) and Georgia Tech (4/8).
*-Virginia is now 26-0 when holding teams to one run or less.
*-All nine Virginia starters have at least one hit today.
*-Keith Werman leads the nation with sacrifice bunts with 25 following his third-inning sacrifice. His total ties for fifth on the NCAA single-season list, joining Joe Scott of Cal State Fullerton (2009) and Brandon Loy of Texas (2009).
*-Chris Taylor was hit by two pitches tonight, one shy of the MCWS single-game record. As a team, three Virginia hitters were hit by pitches, upping its 2010 total to 102. UVa ranks sixth nationally in HBP and is only six teams to have been hit by 100 pitches this season. Taylor is one of five Virginia players to have been hit by at least 10 pitches this season. He also extended his hit streak to 15 games tonight.
*-California finished the season at 38-23, including a 7-3 mark in the NCAA tournament and 1-2 at the MCWS.
*-California falls to 11-8 all-time in six MCWS appearances.
*-California starter Dixon Anderson allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings. Anderson recorded three strikeouts and did not issue any free passes. He, however, did toss two wild pitches, including one the brought home the first Virginia run.
*-California was held to one run or less for just the eighth time this season, the Golden Bears lost all eight.
*-California surrendered eight runs (five earned) in the loss. It was just the fourth time this season that the Golden Bears gave up eight runs or more.
*-Austin Booker collected his 22nd multi-hit game of the season with his 2-for-4 effort tonight.
*-After committing just one error in its first two games at the MCWS, California made two errors in tonight vs. Virginia.
*-California was retired in order four times on June 23rd (3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th), the Golden Bears went down in order only once in the first meeting with Virginia (4th) in the MCWS on June 19th.
*-California entered the MCWS ranked 11th nationally in the NCAA in ERA at 2.85, the Golden Bears finished the season with a team ERA of 2.89.