CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Sophomore Josh Sborz went seven shutout innings and
Virginia used a pair of three-run innings early to beat Maryland 11-2 Monday night in Game 3 of the Charlottesville Super Regional and advance to the College World Series for the third time in six seasons.
Junior third baseman Kenny Towns went 3 for 4, driving in four runs on a triple and a single to force Maryland starter Bobby Ruse out of the game after 2 1-3 innings. Ruse (7-3) gave up six runs on six hits and a walk.
Sborz (5-4) allowed four hits and three walks while striking out nine.
The national No. 3 Cavaliers, the highest remaining seed in the CWS, will play Mississippi on Sunday.
The 13-hit rout culminated a weekend comeback for
Virginia, which lost the first game of the Super Regional before cruising to victory Sunday and Monday. The win boosted Virginia‘s record to 3-1 in deciding games of Super Regionals.
Sborz has had control issues much of the season, but he escaped trouble by getting Maryland third baseman Jose Cuas to ground into a double play to end a threat in the first inning.
jumped on Ruse in the first after he hit shortstop Daniel Pinero in the back. Right fielder Joe McCarthy hit a line drive up the middle off of Ruse’s leg.
Left fielder Derek Fisher followed up by driving the first pitch up the middle to score Pinero from second. Towns then blasted a triple off the left-field wall that drove in two more runs. Maryland left fielder Tim Lewis had to retrieve his glove after leaping in vain to make the grab and losing it over the wall.
Towns came up to bat again in the third inning with two on and Maryland pausing to discuss pitching strategy. Whatever they discussed didn’t work. Towns sent a 1-1 pitch into left field to score two more runs and make it 5-0.
After Maryland reliever Tayler Stiles walked the bases loaded,
Virginia center fielder Brandon Downes hit a grounder up the middle to close out the scoring for the inning and effectively put the game out of reach.
Maryland scored two runs in the eighth when senior shortstop Blake Schmit hit a two-run, two-out double down the third-base line off Cavaliers reliever Austin Young.
Virginia called in relief ace Nick Howard to end the threat and he induced a groundout from Lewis on his first pitch.
The Cavaliers responded in the bottom of the eighth with five runs to pad their lead to 11-2 and prompt the crowd to begin chanting, “ACC,” in reference to the Terrapins’ final game as a league rival before their move to the Big Ten.