CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia broke a 1-1 tie and scored six runs over the final four innings to defeat the Maryland baseball team, 7-3, and force a decisive game three in NCAA Super Regional play Sunday afternoon.
Monday’s game is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. on ESPN2, with the winner advancing to the College World Series.
After Maryland (40-22) tied the game at one with a RBI single from Brandon Lowe in the bottom of the fifth, Virginia (48-14) answered with a run in the sixth and scored three in the seventh to take control of the contest.
The biggest opportunity for the Terps came in the bottom of the fourth trailing by one. Lowe and Jose Cuas led off the inning with back-to-back singles and moved up on a one-out walk by Tim Lewis. With the bases loaded, Kyle Convissar hit a line drive directly at second baseman Branden Cogswell who made the catch and stepped on the bag to double up Cuas and end the Terrapin threat.
"Virginia played very well," said head coach John Szefc. "[Brandon] Waddell was very good and made big pitches when he had to. I thought we had a lot of good swings. 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."
Lowe led the Terps offensively with three hits and tallied one RBI on the afternoon, while Cuas, Anthony Papio and Kevin Martir each added two hits. Freshman starter Mike Shawaryn allowed five earned runs in six innings on the mound with two strikeouts.
After a pair of scoreless frames to open the game, the Cavaliers struck first with a run in the third on a trio of singles. Mike Papi’s single to right field did the damage, scoring Robbie Coman from second on the play.
Maryland threatened to answer in both the third and fourth innings, and finally squared the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the fifth as Kevin Martir set the table with a single to center field. Lowe then delivered with his third hit of the game, knocking a blooper to right center to score Martir.
The Cavaliers wasted little time reclaiming their lead, however, as Kenny Towns led off the sixth with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a fielding error. John La Prise followed with a first-pitch chopper to shortstop to plate Towns and give Virginia a 2-1 advantage.
The Cavs then opened the game an inning later, 5-1, with a three-run seventh on four hits. The Cavs loaded the bases and Derek Fisher knocked in the first run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Townes and Kenny Downes then followed with RBI singles to center.
Run-scoring hits from Joe McCarthy and Branden Cogswell in the final two innings gave the Cavs a pair of insurance runs to hold off the surging Terps, who scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth before reliever Artie Lewicki notched the final out.