Photo courtesy of UMTerps.com
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Maryland baseball team, 5-4, in game two of NCAA Super Regional action at Davenport Field. The Terps (42-24) finished the season with a school record 42 victories.
Robert Galligan delivered an inspiring performance on the mound for Maryland, pitching 7 and 1/2 innings in long relief to give the Terps an opportunity to force a third game. Juniors Kevin Martir and Anthony Papio combined for four hits offensively.
Maryland wasted little time jumping on the board in the first inning, stringing together a pair of hits and a pair of walks to take the early 1-0 lead. The leadoff man LaMonte Wade was the catalyst, earning a walk and advancing to third after a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. After Kevin Martir walked, Nick Cieri punched a hit through the middle to score Wade from first.
The Cavaliers answered right back, however, as Matt Thaiss slapped a double into the left field corner to score Daniel Pinero. Kenny Towns then followed with a single to right center to give Virginia a 2-1 lead in the first.
After a pair of scoreless frames, junior Anthony Papio led things off for the Terps with a double to left center field. Papio then took third base on a Tim Lewis sacrifice bunt, before scoring on a perfect squeeze bunt by Wade that tied the game, 2-2.
Maryland regained the lead in the fifth inning after Kevin Smith singled to center field and progressed to second on a sacrifice bunt. Martir then promptly singled to center field to score Smith and put the Terps ahead, 3-2.
Papio added an insurance run for the Terps in the eighth when he blasted a triple off the right center wall to score Martir from second base to double the lead, 4-2.
The Terrapin pitching ran out of steam in the ninth inning, however, as the Cavaliers managed three walks and two hits, including the game-winning walkoff single.
Maryland advanced to its second straight NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1971-72 this season, in addition to its second consecutive NCAA Super Regional appearance.