UVa Baseball Will Host Mississippi State in Super Regional
The UVa baseball team will play Mississippi State in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional this weekend. Mississippi State beat Central Arkansas 6-1 Monday night to win the Starkville Regional.
The Super Regional Series at Virginia's Davenport Field will run Saturday through Monday. Saturday's game will be at 1pm, Sunday's game will be at 7pm and Monday's game if necessary will be at 4pm.
All three games will be televised. Saturday and Monday's game are on ESPN2. Sunday's game will be on ESPNU.
Virginia has advanced to the College World Series twice (2009, 2011). Mississippi State has been to the CWS eight times, but not since 2007.
Virginia swept its three games in the Charlottesville Regional. The bats finally came alive Sunday night as the 'Hoos exploded for 11 runs on 14 hits in an 11-3 win over Elon, six runs coming in the 3rd inning. It was a welcome sight after the 'Hoos scored just four runs in their first two regional victories.
Coach O'Connor says, "Guys just stepped up, I knew it was going to happen at some point. This team is too good, too talented to be held down."
Sophomore Derek Fisher broke out of his 0-23 NCAA Tournament slump with a 2-RBI single in the 3rd inning. He had a big smile of relief.
Fisher says, "To actually come through in the clutch at that point of time, I just pretty much stuck with what I'd done all weekend."
Virginia's 7-8-9 hitters batted .500 in Sunday night's win. Nick Howard at the 7-spot had a career high four hits.
Howard says, "It just shows how great our team is one through nine, any given night in could be anybody who gets a clutch hit or a clutch at bat that just shows how great our lineup is."
O'Connor says, "You can wear a pitcher down, that's what we've done a lot this year, we've worn some starters down throughout the ball game because we've had such competitive at bats at the bottom of our lineup."
It was the Cavaliers pitching and defense that helped them win the regionals' first two games. Closer Kyle Crockett was named the regional MVP earning saves on Friday and Saturday.
O'Connor says, "From a pitching standpoint, the bullpen has really driven to have the type of record that we have and its going to continue to have to be that way we need to get solid starts to keep us in the ball game in the first half of the game and then the bullpen is going to have to do the job."
The Charlottesville Super Regional will begin either Friday or Saturday this week.
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