Marathon: UVA outlasts TCU in 15 innings, 3-2

college world seriesDaniel Pinero hit a liner to deep center with one out in the bottom of the 15th, and pinch-runner Thomas Woodruff tagged up and scored from third with the winning run for UVA in a dramatic 3-2 College World Series win over TCU on Tuesday.

Nate Irving led off the inning with a ground-rule double to left, giving Virginia (51-14) its first baserunner since the ninth. Woodruff came in to run for the catcher, as he did in the ninth inning of the Cavs’ opening game against Ole Miss in a similar situation, with the game tied 1-1.

Branden Cogswell, who had three hits on the night, laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to get Woodruff to third with one out. Here, Virginia coach Brian O’Connor tried twice to get Pinero to lay down a safety squeeze bunt, but the freshman shortstop fouled both of those attempts off.

With the count 2-2, Pinero got a curveball that hung just a bit up from TCU pitcher Trey Teakell (3-1), and lifted it over the head of Horned Frogs’ center fielder Cody Jones, who was able to track the ball down, but had no chance at Woodruff at the plate.

Woodruff also scored the game-winning run Sunday night in the 2-1 win over Ole Miss on a Mike Papi walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth.

UVA got on the board first in the first, getting a leadoff double from Cogswell, who advanced to third on a fly ball by Pinero and scored on Dylan Fitzgerald’s throwing error.

TCU (48-17) answered with two in the second, on a Fitzgerald RBI single and a run that scored on a two-out fielding error by Pinero, who had two errors in the game, after having had just seven all season coming in.

UVA starter Brandon Waddell had a visit from pitching coach Karl Kuhn in that second inning, but settled down from there, going seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits, with five strikeouts and no walks.

Virginia tied the game in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Papi that scored Cogswell, who had doubled again to lead off the inning.

And it stayed that way for what seemed like forever. Both teams went to their closers, and UVA’s Nick Howard and TCU’s Riley Farrell both put up four scoreless innings out of the back of the bullpen.

Artie Lewicki (8-1) got the win in relief for Virginia, his second of the CWS, with two perfect innings out of the pen.

The win puts Virginia in the driver’s seat in their half of the College World Series bracket to advance to the CWS Finals next week. TCU next plays Ole Miss, a 2-1 winner over Texas Tech, on Thursday, with the winner playing the ‘Hoos on Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Virginia is one win away from the CWS Finals. The winner of the losers’ bracket game still has to defeat the Cavs twice to advance.

         
 

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