No. 6 overall seed Virginia opened the 2013 NCAA Baseball Championship with a 2-1 win over Army on Friday (May 31) in the Charlottesville Regional before 3,826 fans at Davenport Field.
The Cavaliers (48-10) play the winner of tonight's UNC Wilmington (37-21) and Elon (32-28) contest on Sat., June 1 at 6 p.m. Army (29-22) plays the loser of UNCW and Elon tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Virginia's Brandon Waddell (Fr., Houston, Texas) earned the win by giving up one run on three hits in seven innings. Waddell struck out eight and didn't walk a batter, improving to 6-2 on the season. Kyle Crockett (Jr., Poquoson, Va.) earned his 11th save, allowing two hits and striking out four in the final two innings. Crockett struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
ACC Freshman of the Year Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) led the Cavalier offense by going 3-for-3 with an RBI and stolen base. Kenny Towns (So., Burke, Va.) and Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.) added two hits and one run each for Virginia, who has won five straight NCAA Baseball Championship openers.
All three runs in the game came in the fifth inning. Army struck first as Jacob Page led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Johnson and went to third on a single by Michael Sands. Page then scored on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by Grant Van Orden.
Virginia answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Towns led off with a double to left-center and went to third on a single by Irving. Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.) followed with a single, scoring Towns. Jared King (R-Sr., Radford, Va.) walked to load the bases and McCarthy followed with a RBI single to right field. Army escaped the inning with no further damage as Page ran down a line drive to right-center off the bat of Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.) saving three runs for the Black Knights.
Army starter Chris Rowley took the loss, allowing two runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Alex Earls, Patrick Mescher, Van Orden, Page and Sands each had one hit for Army.