OMAHA, Neb. – Virginia short stop Daniel Pinero drove in the game-winning run on a sac fly in the bottom of the 15th inning as Virginia wins 3-2 over TCU in Game 8 of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on Tuesday. After committing two errors in the field, one of which lead to the Horned Frogs second run, Pinero played a part in two Cavaliers runs, including the game-winner, as Virginia remained in the winner’s bracket in the longest game in the history of TD Ameritrade Park.
The teams with the two best ERAs in Omaha squared off in what became a classic match-up as a battle of Brandon’s took place with Virginia’s Brandon Waddell taking the hill against TCU’s Brandon Finnegan. Both pitcher’s dueled to a stalemate with each leaving the game with a 2-2 tie.
Waddell threw seven innings and allowed an earned run on six hits with five strikeouts while Finnegan threw eight innings and allowed an earned run on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Virginia struck first against Finnegan after lead-off man Branden Cogswell doubled to start the game for the Cavaliers he would come around to score on a throwing error by Horned Frogs’ right fielder Dylan Fitzgerald to give Virginia the early 1-0 lead.
TCU would respond in the second inning against Waddell as Garrett Crain, Jerrick Suiter and Fitzgerald hit three straight singles to open the inning with Crain scoring on Fitzgerald’s as the right fielder got back the run his error gave up to tie the game at 1-1.
After Suiter and Fitzgerald were sacrificed into scoring position by Keaton Jones, Pinero misplayed a ball at short that allowed Cody Jones to reach base and Suiter to score to give the Horned Frogs a 2-1 lead.
The lead would hold until the fifth when Cogswell again led-off a Cavaliers’ at bat with a double and would advance to third on a Pinero sac bunt before scoring on a Mike Papi groundout to tie the game at 2-2.
Pitching would take over for both sides as the stalemate drug on into late-night extras as these two teams would outlast the previous longest game that Virginia lost 3-2 to South Carolina in 2011 as the Gamecocks advanced to the final to win its’ second straight College World Series.
Virginia turned to its’ closer Nick Howard in the eighth and he threw four scoreless innings with six strikeouts. TCU turned to its’ own closer in the ninth as Riley Ferrell came on and threw four scoreless innings himself with four strikeouts.
The pens would battle until the 15th when Virginia’s Artie Lewicki completed his second scoreless inning. TCU’s Trey Teakell was looking to complete his third scoreless inning but gave up a lead-off double to Nate Irving in the 15th. Irving would be pulled for pinch runner Thomas Woodruff.
Cogswell completed his 3-for-5 day with two doubles, two runs scored and a walk by sacrificing Woodruff to third. Pinero would score Woodruff with a sac fly to center to get the win for the Cavaliers who scored all their runs in innings that began with lead-off doubles.
TCU will now face Ole Miss in Game 10 in an elimination game at 7:00 pm Thursday. The winner of that game will play Virginia in Game 12 at 7:00 pm on Friday and must win on Friday to force an elimination game on Saturday.