The Virginia baseball team's comeback attempt fell short, as the Cavaliers lost 6-5 to Mississippi State Monday in game two of the NCAA Super Regional.
The game began Sunday, before rain and thunderstorms forced it to be delayed until Monday at 4 p.m. When the game resumed, the Cavaliers were down 5-3, with Mississippi State batting in the bottom of the eighth.
The Bulldogs struck early after the game resumed. Junior Hunter Renfroe started things off with a double, then advanced to third on an error by Joe McCarthy. Three batters later, C.T. Bradford singled into right field, scoring Renfroe to give Mississippi State a 6-3 lead.
That score held until the top of the ninth when, with runners on first and third, McCarthy knocked a base hit to third to score Kenny Towns and bring the Cavaliers within two runs. Brandon Downes then reached on a fielder error by Mississippi State pitcher Jonathan Holder, allowing Mike Papi to come home and cutting the lead to 6-5.
With two outs and runners on second and third, Derek Fisher grounded out to third, for the final out of the game.
"They certainly earned it this weekend," head coach Brian O'Connor said of Mississippi State after the loss. "They beat us, in a lot of phases of the game. They've got a really nice ball club."
Sophomore catcher Nate Irving echoed that sentiment. "I think some of the credit has to be given to Mississippi State. They put pressure on us the entire weekend. There were a lot of quality pitches they put in play and made us make plays."
Mississippi State advances to the College World Series after sweeping Virginia 2-0 in the Super Regional. The Cavaliers finish the season with a 50-12 overall record.
"We're just disappointed we couldn't get a chance to play one more ballgame, but really proud of our team," O'Connor added.
"Really proud of Kyle Crockett, coming back today and giving us his best. Obviously, it's a very, very difficult loss and we're disappointed, and wish we'd had another chance to play."
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