Virginia wins in 15th, ties for longest CWS game

Virginia wins in 15th, ties for longest CWS game
June 18, 2014, 1:45 am
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Daniel Pinero's sacrifice fly scored Thomas Woodruff in the bottom of the 15th inning to give Virginia a 3-2 victory Tuesday night in a game that matched the longest in the College World Series' 66-year history.

Pinero fouled off two squeeze-bunt attempts against Trey Teakell before he lofted a fly to center. Cody Jones' throw toward home never had a chance to get Woodruff. The Cavaliers' bench and bullpen emptied, with everybody mobbing Pinero near second base.

Virginia (51-14), which had a walk-off 2-1 win against Mississippi on Sunday in nine innings, plays Friday in its bracket final. TCU (48-17) plays Ole Miss in an elimination game Thursday.

Artie Lewicki (8-1) got the win with two innings of no-hit relief. Teakell (6-1) took the loss, with Nate Irving's ground-rule double leading off the bottom of the 15th the only hit he allowed in 2 1-3 innings.

It was the longest game, as measured by innings, since Southern California beat Florida State 2-1 in 15 in the 1970 national championship game. Two other CWS games had gone 15.

Nick Howard, Whit Mayberry and Lewicki shut down the Horned Frogs in relief of Brandon Waddell before the Cavaliers manufactured enough offense to win.

TCU pitchers retired 16 straight Virginia batters before Irving's fly to left bounced over the wall. Woodruff entered as a pinch runner and moved to third on Branden Cogswell's sacrifice.

TCU had been involved in the longest game in college baseball this season less than three weeks ago, when it beat Sam Houston State in 22 innings in regionals.

Two nights after Mike Papi delivered Virginia's game-winning hit, Pinero launched the sacrifice fly that puts Virginia in control of its bracket. The Cavs need one more win to reach next week's best-of-three finals.

Virginia and TCU are well-acquainted with one-run games. The Cavaliers have won 15 of 22 this season and TCU has won nine of 14. Seven of TCU's NCAA tournament games have been decided by one run.

Each team had chances to win before the 15th.

Virginia center fielder Brandon Downes threw out Kyle Bacak at third in the 12th, Jones' diving catch robbed Papi of extra bases in the ninth, and the Cavaliers failed to push a run across after having men in scoring position in the eighth and ninth.

TCU left-hander Brandon Finnegan scattered nine hits over eight innings. The Kansas City Royals' first-round draft pick allowed two runs, one earned, making it the 15th time in 17 starts he has given up two or fewer.