May 30, 2009
Danny Hultzen had the best pitching outing of his career and the Cavalier baseball team came through at the plate, as Virginia knocked off California-Irvine, 5-0, in the NCAA Regional Saturday night. With the win, the Cavaliers find themselves one win away from advancing to their first Super Regional in school history.
Virginia improves to 2-0 in the regional, after topping San Diego State on Friday night to open things up. The Cavs have now won seven straight games, and will look to close out the regional Sunday night. They'll face the winner of the UC-Irvine-San Diego State match up.
The Anteaters entered the NCAA Tournament as the number one team in the polls and as the sixth overall national seed in the tournament. They topped Fresno State, 4-2, on Friday to advance, but hit a roadblock in the Cavaliers on Saturday.
Hultzen showed that he is more than worthy of being ACC Freshman of the Year. The rookie southpaw threw 7.1 innings of shutout baseball, giving up only six hits while striking out four. It marked the longest outing of his career, but most effective as well, as he held UC-Irvine at bay. He improves to 9-1 on the season.
Franco Valdes paced the Cavalier bats, knocking in two of the five runs. Virginia struck for two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to account for its scoring on the night.
This is not unfamiliar territory for Brian O'Connor and the Cavaliers. Just two seasons ago in 2007, Virginia won the first two games of the regional when the Cavaliers served as a host site. After topping Oregon State to improve to 2-0, the Cavs found themselves six outs away from moving on, only to fall victim to a Beavers rally that eventually ended with Oregon State winning the regional. The Beavers would win their second consecutive national championship.
Virginia now looks to close things out Sunday night. They'll face either the Anteaters or the Aztecs at 11:00pm eastern time. Check back on www.wcav.tv and tune into CBS19 News at 6:30 and 11:00 for updates, as well as the WAHU FOX27 News at 10:00.