It was a back and forth game that UVa fans have come to know and love. UVa would pull ahead, the opposing team would tie it up, the opposing team would take the lead, and then UVa would come back to put it away and win the game.
Fortunately for Cavalier fans, the Hoos have been able to come out on top of those back and forth games recently. And it was no different on Saturday afternoon as the Cavaliers took out the Razorbacks 5-3 to stay in the winner's bracket in Omaha.
Connor Jones struggled with his command for 6 innings, but was able to limit the damage enough to keep Arkansas from pulling away and winning the game. In the end, Jones went 6 and only gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. What was more surprising was Jones only striking out 2, and not striking out a batter til the 6th. Most games he is able to rack up the strike outs while cruising. Although he only walked 2, he was constantly behind batters, and even allowed Arkansas to have their leadoff runner on base each of the first four innings.
After the 6th, Coach O'Connor called up closer Josh Sborz to do what he has done all season. Sborz held Arkansas scoreless over the final three frames and only allowed two base runners on a walk and a hit while striking out 5. Since the Hoos were not able to pull ahead til the 7th, Sborz earned his 5th win of the season.
On the offensive side the story of the day was the aggressiveness the Hoos showed on the basepaths. In all, UVa attempted 8 steal attempts, and they were successful 5 of those times. 2nd year SS Daniel Pinero lead the team with 3 stolen bases of his own after having only 6 entering the day.
Pinero and Matt Thaiss also were able to pace the offense. Pinero gave the offense 3 hits, an RBI, and scored 2 of the UVa 5 runs, while Thaiss was 2-4 with an RBI of his own. Third year Joe McCarthy got the offense going in the 2nd with UVa's first HR at TD Ameritrade park, a solo shot to RF which gave the Hoos their first lead of the game.
The win gives UVa a winning record at the College World Series. The Hoos entered the day with a 6-6 record.
More importantly, the win keeps UVa in the winner's bracket on their side of the CWS. UVa will get tomorrow off and will take on the winner of Miami-Florida on Monday night at 8PM on ESPN. Miami and Florida will play at 8 PM tonight (Saturday).