If the Virginia Cavaliers miss the NCAA Tournament this year, they will likely look back on the ninth inning of this afternoon's game against the Duke Blue Devils and wonder how they let one get away. Leading Duke by a score of 7-3 entering the top of the ninth inning, the Hoos just couldn't get three outs as they saw the Blue Devils come up with six runs on six hits and one hit by pitch to take a 9-7 lead which would ultimately be the final score.
Virginia squandered another solid outing from Brandon Waddell, who like Connor Jones has seemed to have found his groove in the last couple of weeks. Waddell pitched 7.0 innings, giving up three runs, all earned, on 10 hits, and one walk while striking out four and taking a no decision. The Cavaliers looked to have the game in hand after they broke a 3-3 tie on a two-RBI double by Matt Thaiss in the fourth, and then tacked on a couple of what appeared to be insurance runs with RBI singles by Pavin Smith and Joe McCarthy in the seventh to take a 7-3 lead.
Ultimately, the bullpen couldn't put the Blue Devils away as Kevin Doherty, Alec Bettinger, and David Rosenberger combined to throw 2.0 innings giving up six earned runs on six hits.
Offensively, Robbie Coman led the way for Virginia with three hits and two RBIs, while Kenny Towns had two hits and scored three runs and Pavin Smith had two hits and tow RBIs.
Virginia looks to win the series tomorrow and keep their post season hopes alive. First pitch is at 1 p.m.