Cavs advance to regional final
Edited by Chris Graham
Virginia improved to 2-0 in the Charlottesville Regional with a 13-7 win over Mississippi on Saturday night at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers, the No. 5 national seed, tied the school record with their 49th win of the season and also tied a school record with their 32nd home victory of the year.
John Barr led the Virginia attack by going 4-for-4 with four RBIs. Jarrett Parker and Tyler Cannon each scored three runs as every Cavalier starter had at least one hit for the second straight game.
Cavalier ace Danny Hultzen improved to 10-1 with the win, pitching six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits. Branden Kline threw the final three innings, allowing just one run, to record the save. Ole Miss starter Aaron Barrett fell to 7-5 with the loss, allowing seven runs (three earned) on six hits in 2.2 innings pitched.
Virginia (49-11) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Phil Gosselin led off the inning with an infield single and later scored on Dan Grovatt’s sacrifice fly.
The Cavaliers added two runs in the second inning. Parker reached with a leadoff walk and scored on Franco Valdes’ two-out single. Barr followed with a double down the right field line to score Valdes.
Ole Miss (39-23) answered with three runs in the top of the third to tie the game at 3-3. Kevin Mort’s double was followed by a walk by Miles Hamblin. Both scored on Taylor Hashman’s two-out double down the left field line. Hashman came around to score on Matt Smith’s single.
Virginia retook the lead in the bottom of the third. With one out, Grovatt tripled down the right field line. After Steven Proscia walked, Parker doubled down the left field line to score Grovatt. With two outs, Cannon hit a grounder to the first baseman, but Barrett dropped the throw when covering the base allowing Proscia to score and the inning to continue. Valdes followed with a single to drive in Parker and make the score 6-3. After Barrett was pulled for Matt Crouse, Barr singled to drive in Cannon for a 7-3 lead.
The Cavaliers extended their lead further in the fourth inning. Keith Werman led off with a single and scored on Proscia’s double down the left field line. After Parker walked, John Hicks singled to center and as the ball was bobbled, both Proscia and Parker scored to make it 10-3. With two outs, an RBI single by Barr scored Hicks, extending it to an eight-run UVa advantage.
Mississippi got three runs back in the top of the fifth. Hamblin was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and eventually came around to score on Smith’s two-out RBI single. After Matt Snyder walked, Zach Miller’s double drove in two to cut the lead to 11-6.
Virginia added a run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 12-6 lead. Cannon opened the inning with a double and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After Barr was hit by a pitch, Gosselin singled to drive in Cannon.
Ole Miss cut the lead to 12-7 in the top of the seventh on Hashman’s solo homer.
The Cavaliers added one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Hicks doubled to start the inning, and scored on a single by Barr.
The Rebels were led by Hashman, who went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Ole Miss will meet St. John’s in an elimination game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner of that game will play Virginia and need to beat the Cavaliers twice in the double-elimination format. The Sunday championship game will begin at 6 p.m. Fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for the game. The Davenport Field ticket booth will open at 11 a.m. and remain open through the day.