UC Irvine rallied to defeat No. 1 national seed Virginia 6-4 in game two of the NCAA Super Regional in front of a sellout crowd of 5,050 at Davenport Field. The Anteaters came back from a 3-0 deficit to even the series at one game each and force a decisive game three on Monday at 4 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN2.
There will be a limited amount of cash parking available Monday. The University Hall and McCue Center lots will be available for pre-paid parking only. Pre-paid parking as well as cash parking also will be available in the John Paul Jones Arena parking lots. Free parking will be available in the Emmet/Ivy Garage.
Drew Hillman and Tommy Reyes each went 2-for-4 to lead UC Irvine, which snapped Virginia’s eight-game win streak. Chris Taylor went 2-for-3 to lead the Cavaliers.
Andrew Thurman picked up the win for UC Irvine, improving to 4-3 on the season. He pitched the final four innings, allowing one run on three hits. Branden Kline took the loss for Virginia, allowing two runs on two hits in 0.2 innings of work. He suffered his first loss of the season, falling to 3-1.
The Cavaliers (53-10) took the lead in the top of the first. Taylor led off the game with a single. He stole second and a throwing error on the play allowed him to reach third. Hicks drove in Taylor with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Virginia lead.
Virginia doubled the lead with a run in the top of the third. Keith Werman was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning. He moved to second on a sacrifice and to third on a groundout. He scored on Hicks’ two-out infield single.
In the top of the fifth, the Cavaliers extended the lead to 3-0. Colin Harrington led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and to third on a groundout. He scored on a throwing error by the third baseman that would have gotten the Anteaters out of the inning. Following the end of that half-inning, there was a four hour-18 minute weather delay.
UC Irvine (43-17) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth. Hillman hit a two-out solo home run over the left field bleachers, his sixth homer of the season, to make the score 3-1.
The Anteaters drew even in the bottom of the seventh. Christian Ramirez walked to lead off. With one out, he scored as Reyes singled and the ball got past the centerfielder. Reyes came around to score the tying run on Ronnie Shaeffer’s RBI single to center.
Virginia retook the lead in the top of the eighth with a two-out rally. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Jared King singled. King was moving from first when Kenny Swab hit a double to right, scoring King to give the Cavaliers the 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, UC Irvine took its first lead of the series, scoring three runs to go on top 6-4. Hillman hit a double and Jordan Fox was hit by a pitch. They were on second and third with two outs when Jordan Leyland hit a double to left-centerfield, putting the Anteaters on top. Reyes followed with a single to right to drive in Dillon Moyer, who pinch-ran for Leyland, and give the Anteaters the two-run lead.
The winner of the three-game series will advance to the College World Series, beginning June 18 in Omaha, Neb.