Home College World Series: UVA outlasts Arkansas, 5-3

College World Series: UVA outlasts Arkansas, 5-3


CWSDaniel Pinero had three hits and three stolen bases, and Kenny Towns delivered with a two-out RBI double in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie, lifting UVA to a 5-3 win over Arkansas in the opening game of the 2015 College World Series.

Virginia (40-22) advances to a winners bracket game Monday night at 8 p.m. Eastern against the winner of the Florida-Miami game that will be played later today.

Arkansas starting pitcher Ryan Killian (3-5) pitched into the eighth before being lifted for closer Zach Jackson after surrendering a one-out single to Pinero. With Matt Thaiss at the plate, Pinero stole second and then third on consecutive pitches. Thaiss struck out with the infield in for the second out of the inning, but Towns worked a 3-2 count off Jackson before lacing a line drive down the right-field line for the tie-breaking extra-base hit.

The ‘Hoos added an insurance run in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Ernie Clement.

Josh Sborz (5-2) got the win with three scoreless innings of relief. Starting pitcher Connor Jones gutted out a gritty six-inning performance. Jones, a sophomore, clearly didn’t have command, but left the game after six with the score tied at 3-3, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out two and walking two, on 96 pitches, 54 of them strikes.

Sborz struck out five, walked one and gave up one hit, a ninth-inning leadoff single to Brett McAfee. Sborz induced a double-play ball out of the next hitter, Michael Bernal, and then struck out pinch-hitter Carson Shaddy to end it.

Virginia got on the board first, in the bottom of the second, on a solo home run by Joe McCarthy, his second of the season. Arkansas (41-24) touched up Jones for two runs in the third, on a sacrifice fly by national player of the year Andrew Benintendi and an RBI single by Clark Eagan.

UVA went back on top in the fifth, tying the game on a Pinero RBI double and then taking a 3-2 lead on an RBI single by Thaiss.

Benintendi answered in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer, his 20th, tying the game at 3-3.

Jones, struggling all day, put in his first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the sixth, before giving the ball to Sborz, who retired the Razorbacks in order in the seventh, pitched around a leadoff walk to Benintendi in the eighth, then got out of the ninth with the aid of the double play.



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