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UVa Baseball in the Driver's Seat - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVa Baseball in the Driver's Seat

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OMAHA, NE (WVIR) -

Virginia has now done something that 30 of the last 33 College World Series champions have done:  Win their first two games in Omaha.

The Cavaliers won a marathon battle Tuesday night against TCU.

It took 15 innings but Virginia finally got the job done with a 3-2 win.

Daniel Pinero's walkoff RBI sacrifice fly won it.

The game matched the longest game in College World Series history, and was so long, they played "Take me out the Ball Game" twice.

UVa head coach Brian O'Connor says, "I was hoping the next time they played it, they played 'Take Me to Bed.' I can't speak for these guys. They were in to it. We were just trying to find a way."

With the wind blowing in at up to 30 miles per hour, Cavalier catcher Nate Irving hit a leadoff ground-rule double in the 15th inning.

Irving says, "It just happened to get back to a 3-2 count, work it back even, and then just put a good swing on one of them. I'm actually surprised at how well it carried."

"For him to drive the ball over the leftfielder's head, I didn't know if anybody was going to be able to do that on either ballclub," says O'Connor.

The four hour and 51 minute game was dominated by pitching.

Wahoo relievers Nick Howard, Artie Lewicki and combined to give up just one hit in eight innings.

Neither team scored from the 6th through the 14th inning.

Howard says, "I'm not thinking about my limit. As long as my number kept getting called, I was going to go out there and throw strikes, and do the job. There was a lot of adrenaline running. I think a lot of people were running off adrenaline by the end of the game."

O'Connor adds, "We threw everything we had at them. Howard, and Mayberry, and Lewicki. I felt this game, the 1-0 game to go to 2-0, is really, really important."

The reward for winning the first two games is two days off.

Virginia won't play until Friday when with a win, the 'Hoos can clinch a spot in the CWS finals.

"We're excited," says Lewicki.  "It's hard not to come away from an exciting game like that, regardless of how long it is. That was a great win. We're in the drivers seat now."

TCU and Ole Miss will now play in an elimination game Thursday night.

Virginia will play the winner on Friday.

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