Leyland, UC Irvine force third game
Game delayed for more than four hours due to weather
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Jordan Leyland’s two-run double to center with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning gave UC Irvine the lead and the Anteaters beat top-seeded Virginia 6-4 on Sunday to force a third game in the Charlottesville Super Regional on Monday.
Monday's winner will advance to the College World Series.
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|Box Score: UC Irvine 6, Virginia 4|
In a game delayed at its midpoint for more than four hours by a monsoon-like storm, UC Irvine (43-17) overcame deficits of 3-0 and 4-3, the latter with a three-run rally in the eighth.
Freshman Andrew Thurman (4-3) blanked Virginia on three hits over the final four innings.
The Cavaliers (53-10) took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth before the Anteaters rallied against Justin Thompson and closer Branden Kline (3-1), who allowed the big hit.
Virginia’s winning streak was snapped at eight games.
The Anteaters’ rally started with one out when Drew Hillman doubled. Virginia coach Brian O’Connor summoned Kline from the bullpen, and he hit Jordan Fox with his first pitch.
A fly ball to right allowed Hillman to tag and take third, and Fox stole second without a throw, setting the stage for Leyland’s double into a huge gap in left-center field. Tommy Reyes followed with a single to right, scoring Leyland, and was thrown out trying for second.
Two harmless fly balls and a strikeout in the ninth forced Game 3.
The Cavaliers seemed to have regained control after blowing a 3-0 lead.
Kenny Swab, whose mistake in centerfield allowed the Anteaters to score twice in the seventh to get even, atoned in the eighth. With Jared King running from first, Swab hit a slicing line drive to right. Sean Madigan ran over to field the ball and slipped as he bent over on the soaked field, allowing King to come all the way around as Swab continued on to second.
That made it 4-3, and it was up to the Cavaliers’ bullpen.
Tyler Wilson, who threw 41 pitches in the first four innings before the delay, came back and worked two more innings. He had retired five in a row when Hillman hit a 1-2 pitch over the bleachers in left field, breaking the Anteaters’ scoreless string at 14.2 innings.
Thompson came on to start the next inning, walked Christian Ramirez leading off and allowed a one-out single to center by Reyes. The ball bounced just in front of Swab, then skipped past him as Ramirez came around to score and Reyes took second. He scored when Ronnie Schaeffer, the next batter, lined a single to center, pulling UC Irvine even at 3-all.
Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with help from the Anteaters.
Chris Taylor singled to lead off, and took off for second when Matt Whitehouse’s pitch to John Barr bounced in the dirt. Catcher Schaeffer’s late throw went into centerfield, with Taylor continuing to third. He scored on John Hicks’ sacrifice fly to left field.
Hicks also produced the other two runs, singling home Keith Werman in the third after Werman was hit by a pitch and sacrificed to second, and hitting a two-out grounder to third in the fifth that Brian Hernandez threw in the dirt to first as Colin Harrington came home.