May 31, 2009
Last Monday, the Virginia baseball team learned that it would heading to Irvine for the NCAA Regional and would compete in a bracket which many considered to be the most difficult of the 16 sites. Six days later, the Cavaliers are celebrating a victory in that bracket, and are advancing to the first Super Regional in school history.
The Cavs once again got great pitching and clutch hits, topping UC Irvine, 4-1, to clinch the Irvine Regional. Virginia finishes 3-0 in the bracket, topping San Diego State to open things up, followed by two victories over the Anteaters.
Andrew Carraway had a stellar outing on the mound, pitching seven innings, while giving up just four hits and one earned run. Kevin Arico came on to pitch the eighth and ninth for his eleventh save of the season. This was just the latest in a series of exceptional pitching performances by the Cavaliers. In the three Regional contests, Virginia pitching only gave up two runs.
Franco Valdes had two RBI on the night, going 2-4 with a double and a triple. Jarrett Parker went 3-5 with two singles and an RBI triple in the ninth. Tyler Cannon followed Parker's three-bagger with an RBI triple of his own in the final frame to round out the scoring.
Virginia outscored opponents 14-2 in the first stage of the NCAA Tournament. It marked the sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Regional for Brian O'Connor's club, and the Cavaliers were finally able to get over the hump and advance.
The Cavaliers will face the winner of Monday's contest at the Oxford, Mississippi, Regional between Mississippi and Western Kentucky. Sites will be announced following the conclusion of all the NCAA Regionals.