Virginia Advances to the College World Series; Beats Maryland 11-2
The UVa baseball team is headed to the College World Series for the third time in the last six years. The 'Hoos beat Maryland 11-2 Monday night at Davenport field in the deciding game three of the Charlottesville Super Regional to punch their ticket to Omaha.
Virginia's Josh Sborz pitched seven shutout innings striking out nine batters and giving up just four hits. Kenny Towns drove in four runs on a triple and a single to force Maryland starting pitcher Bobby Ruse out of the game. Towns four RBI tied a UVa school record for an NCAA Tournament game.
Virginia built a 6-0 lead after three innings. Maryland cut the deficit to 6-2 in the top of the 8th, but Virginia answered with five runs in the bottom of the 8th.
Nick Howard struck out the final batter of the game and the Cavaliers celebrated with a dog pile on the infield.
UVa coach Brian O'Connor says, "The last two weeks this offensive team showed what its capable of doing. I had complete confidence in Josh Sborz. That guy has really electric stuff."
UVa pitcher Josh Sborz says, "I really only had two pitches today but I was keeping it down most of the time and I knew I had a great defense behind me, it was pretty easy to attack and let them hit the ball."
UVa's Kenny Towns says, "I guess it really shows how tough this team is and how we're able to battle back from a loss all year. With the group of guys that we've had here the last three years its really special because we've all worked really hard to accomplish this goal that we've set out for ourselves. It feels really good."
UVa's Brandon Downes says, "We say 11-86 trying to go to Omaha, every day we tap in our board that says all in. Its always been a journey and we're just trying to get to the end point."
O'Connor adds, "I'm so proud because they handled it the right way. Your always concerned as a coach when you have talent like we have, and how are they going to handle their junior year with the draft, and things like that. These guys handled it great."
Virginia will play Mississippi in its first game in the College World Series. That game will be Sunday night at 8pm EST and will air on ESPN2
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.