OMAHA (6/23/11) – Fabulous baseball weather continued in Omaha on this sixth day of the 2011 College World Series at the new TD Ameritrade Park. At game time, players and fans enjoyed partly-sunny skies, 70-degree temps and moderate breezes flowing left to right across the outfield.
The University of Virginia Cavaliers kept their hopes of a national championship alive with an 8-1 win over the University of California Bears – ending Cal’s storybook season that began the previous September with the announcement that the baseball program was being cut for budget reasons. Bears boosters raised the $9 million required to keep the program alive and provided the team an extra boost of motivation to overcome the adversity.
After two scoreless innings, Virginia opened things up with two runs in the third inning, scored by Jared King and Keith Werman on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly, respectively. The Cavaliers left two runners on base as their half of the inning ended when designated hitter Danny Hultzen grounded out to pitcher Dixon Anderson.
Righthander Kevin Miller took the mound for Cal in the fourth after they failed score in their half of the third.
Virginia later fired up its run machine in the sixth with a dramatic single by Kevin Swab to centerfield that amounted to an inside-the-park home run but officially was recorded as a single and a three-base error by centerfielder Darrell Matthews. Next came a double by David Coleman, then a two-base RBI by Werman (who later scored on a Chris Taylor double).
Cal tried to slow things down by sending lefty Louie Lechich to the mound with two outs in the sixth, but Virginia tacked on one more when Taylor scored on a John Barr single. The Cavaliers held on to their 6-0 lead until Matthews scored on a base hit by Pac 10 player of the year Tony Renda.
Steven Proscia and Corey Hunt scored a couple of unearned insurance runs for Virginia in the ninth and Cal couldn’t answer with anymore runs of their own.
Taylor Wilson was credited with the win, improving his record to 10-0. The veteran threw 94 pitches, 53 of them strikes, en route to totaling five strikeouts and no walks. Anderson took the loss for Cal, ending his season with a 4-4 record.
Virginia will play South Carolina Friday at 6 p.m. CT. In order to advance to the championship series which starts Monday, June 27, the Cavaliers would need to beat South Carolina Friday and again on Saturday.
If you’re at the College World Series, your one stop for the most officially licensed 2011 College World Series apparel is the all new Dugout, located right across the street from the Road To Omaha statue outside TD Ameritrade Stadium. If you can’t make it to Omaha, simply follow this link to Dugouthats.com. You’ll save 20% on your order when you enter the coupon code CB360!
Tonight’s attendance: 25,833 – a record for TD Ameritrade Park. Total attendance so far for 2011 CWS: 223,143. Avg. per game in 2011 series: 22,314 … that’s approximately 8,000 ahead of the 2010 attendance.
– Quotable –
“I got a chance to go to Omaha with a very special team in a really crazy year. And I think our program and our players proved a lot to themselves that they would take with them the res of their lives.” – Cal coach David Esquer in response to what his diary entry would read after this season.
“It’s the College World Series. How can you not pitch with adrenalin every time you step out there on that mound? The atmosphere is incomparable to anything else that you’ll ever play at this level. I was ecstatic just to be out there to give our team a chance to build some momentum going into the rest of the tournament.” –Virginia pitcher Tyler Wilson
To see more photos from this and other College World Series games click here for our CB360 Shutterfly page.