A two-out, bases-loaded single by Chris Taylor brought Virginia back from the brink of elimination and sent the top-seeded Cavs to their second College World Series in three years with a 3-2 win over Cal-Irvine.
The rally began with two outs and two strikes on David Coleman, who singled through the middle off Irvine reliever Matt Summers. Jared King singled off Summers, who then walked pinch-hitter Reid Gragnani to set up Taylor’s final at-bat heroics.
Virginia will open play at the College World Series on Sunday, June 19, against California at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. That game will begin at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN and online at ESPN3.com. UVa will be making its second trip in the last three years to Omaha.
Sophomore Branden Kline got the win for Virginia, improving to 4-1. He pitched the final 1.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit. Cavalier starter Will Roberts went the first 7.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits.
Summers, UC Irvine’s starter for game one of the series on Saturday, pitched in relief and took the loss, falling to 11-4 on the season. He pitched 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Anteater starter Crosby Slaught pitched three-plus shutout innings and Jimmy Litchfield allowed one run in his 4.1 innings of relief.
UC Irvine (43-18) took a 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the fourth. Crumlich led off with a double down the leftfield line. He moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on Brian Hernandez’s RBI groundout.
The Cavaliers (54-10) drew even in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Swab hit a solo homer over the leftfield wall. It was his first home run of the season and tied the game 1-1.
UC Irvine retook the lead with a run in the top of the ninth. Sean Madigan led off the inning with a single to centerfield. Hernandez followed with a bunt, but the throw to second went into the outfield and the Anteaters had runners at first and third with no outs. Drew Hillman grounded into a double play, but Madigan came around to score the go-ahead run.