June 15, 2009
Omaha, NE -
Danny Hultzen's 2-run single put Virginia ahead to stay and the Cavaliers went on to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 7-5, in an elimination game for the school's inaugural win at the College World Series.
Virginia (49-14-1) advances to play Wednesday night against Arkansas, a winners' bracket loser to LSU. Fullerton sees its season end at 47-16 after its fifth winless performance in 16 appearances in Omaha.
Andrew Carraway (9-1), the second of five Virginia pitchers, got the win with 2.2 innings of relief. Daniel Renken (11-3) took the loss after pitching 5.2 innings, his shortest outing since March 19. He was charged with 6 runs, all earned, the most he allowed all season. Nick Ramirez pitched the final 2.1 innings and gave up the seventh run.
Fullerton outhit the Cavaliers, 13-9, and outhomered them, 2-0. But one pick-off, one caught stealing and two double plays blunted late rallies and the Titans left 8 men on base over the last 7 innings.
Dustin Garneau's fifth home run of the year with Jared Clark on base in the second inning gave Fullerton its only lead of the CWS but it didn't last through the inning. Virginia scored four times in the bottom half, three runs scoring after two were out. Steven Proscia had a one-out double and a walk to Jarrett Parker and a single to left by John Hicks made it a 2-1 game. Franco Valdes flied out but No. 9 hitter Keith Werman, who was 4-for-5 Saturday vs. LSU, hit a liner into short right-center field that Gary Brown just missed catching with a dive to tie the game. A walk to Tyler Cannon loaded the bases and Hultzen lined a two-run single to left.
Christian Colon led off the Fullerton third with his eighth home run and the Titans had a rally going when Gary Brown singled and went to third on a Josh Fellhauer single. But Clark fouled out, Davis popped out and Fellhauer was caught stealing. Another rally in the fifth was short-circuited when Colon, after leading off with a walk against reliever Andrew Carraway, got picked off. Fellhauer doubled and Clark walked after two out but Davis flied out to deep centerfield.
Virginia added a run in the fifth on a walk to Cannon, a sacrifice and a double to left center by Phil Gosselin.
Virginia scored twice after two outs in the sixth. Valdes doubled down the right-field line to chase Renken. Werman hit a liner off Nick Ramirez to centerfield but with the Titans playing him in the gaps, it fell for an RBI double. He scored on a single to center by Cannon.
Fullerton got the tying run on base with the help of the Virginia defense in the ninth. Joey Siddons singled and Colon was safe when third baseman Steven Proscia threw high to first after fielding his ground ball. Brown singled home Siddons and, after Fellhauer struck out, Colon scored when shortstop Cannon fielded Clark's ground ball and his flip throw pulled second baseman Werman off the bag. Clark was credited with an infield single but Cannon fielded Davis' grounder and successfully threw to Werman for the final out.
Coach Dave Serrano - "Not taking anything away from Arkansas or Virginia, I'm as confused and disappointed as anybody. We were not in character, racing a little bit. It's back to the drawing board to see how we can stay in character and stay within themselves.
"No excuses, we were beat fair and square. But we were one swing of the bat away from taking the lead in that game."
"We've been playing with aggressive tenacity... didn't see that the last two games."
On momentum switch in third inning: "We had the table set and didn't get production we needed or wanted."
On the delay double steal to end the inning: "We had some tendencies on Virginia that we didn't exploit. We knew their catcher would throw through and Gary was supposed to break on the throw. He didn't... and they got Josh in a caught stealing."
On next year: "We think we will be back here. With the pitching we have coming back... sometimes when a team isn't successful and comes back... they are successful the next time. We expect to be back."
Catcher Dustin Garneau: "We were pressing in the first game... we were out of character... Noe (Ramirez) on the mound and our first at bats. We didn't play good baseball both games."
Pitcher Daniel Renken: "We tried too hard... I was falling behind in counts and letting the hitter get comfortable in the box. Inexcusable for me as the leader of the pitching staff. Virginia is a good team but I made them look a lot better. Next year I'll come back and prove I am much better."
Notes; Virginia also ended the season of Big West Conference champion UC Irvine, beating the Anteaters twice in the NCAA Regional at Irvine.
Fullerton trailed for only one of 45 innings in winning its Regional and Super Regional but trailed for 17 of 18 innings in Omaha.
Fullerton is now 34-27 in the College World Series but has lost its last five games, Nine of its last 10 CWS games have been decided by one or two runs.
Renken allowed more earned runs (4) in the second inning than he had allowed in any GAME this season.