UVa Ends Season with Two Losses to Mississippi State
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Adam Frazier had more hits and two RBIs and Wes Rea hit a two-run home run and Mississippi State clinched a spot in the College World Series by winning the completion of a suspended game 6-5 against Virginia on Monday.
The Bulldogs (48-18) needed six outs to complete the sweep, and used reliever Jonathan Holder to get them to secure their ninth trip to the College World Series, and first since 2007.
Mississippi State added an insurance run in the seventh, again with help from shoddy fielding by the Cavaliers (50-12), and it proved huge when Virginia rallied for two runs in the ninth inning.
Derek Fisher grounded out to third with runners on second and third to end the game.
Virginia Coach Brian O'Connor
"I would first like to congratulate Mississippi State. They certainly earned it this weekend; they beat us. They have a very nice ball club with a veteran team that knows what it's doing. They earned the title this weekend and earned the right to move on. That being said I'm very proud of our club. The ninth inning rally did not surprise me at all. That has been consistent with our team all year long. I'm just disappointed that we didn't get a chance to play one more ball game. I'm really proud of Kyle Crockett coming back today. Obviously it was a very difficult loss and we are very disappointed we didn't have another chance to play."
On the way the team played:
"It is really difficult. I would never say that I am disappointed in a team and I am not disappointed in this ball club at all. It is frustrating though. This can happen and we have been in this scenario before where we haven't played our best baseball and that is typically what happens when a team doesn't play up to their ability. That is in no disrespect to Mississippi State. Part of the reason we didn't play well is because of Mississippi State. They are an action type of team offensively. They put pressure on you. I love their bullpen. We have played some difficult bullpens this year and Mississippi State is up there- if not the best we have seen all year. Certainly, we're disappointed that we didn't get a chance to advance on."
On the takeaway from this season:
"I will take a lot away. I'll take away that there are enormous expectations in this program and we love that. I will take away that I know what our players are about, who they are, as people and as players. The bounce back that we have showed all year long is really impressive the fight of those guys who come back and battle. I think of Scott Silverstein and his career, what that kid has had to endure over these past five years and it is impressive. I'm thankful for our program. This program is here to stay and we look forward to the next opportunity that we are in this situation."
On Branden Cogswell:
"I feel so bad for Branden Cogswell. Injuries are part of the game. This kid is a competitor and was consistent all year long but didn't have a chance to play in NCAA play. I will tell you that when he hurt himself that there could be a chance he could come back for a regional game but realistically I thought it might not be until Omaha, if we were in that position. He was ready to play this weekend. He was healthy enough to play this weekend. I made the decision not to play him because it had been five or six weeks since he had taken a live at bat. He started taking live at bats this week and that is a long period of time not to see live pitches. Even though he told me he was ready I was not 100% that it would be consistent from a throwing standpoint. I know he is disappointed that we didn't put him in."
Virginia Pitcher Kyle Crockett
On pitching today:
"I always want the ball. As long as they trust me to go out there I will go out there and do my best."
Virginia Catcher Nate Irving
On the errors:
"I think some of the credit has to be given to Mississippi state. They put pressure on us all weekend. They put balls in play and made some good plays."
On his class and experience:
"It's not about our class, it's about this year's team. Nothing will ever be about one class or one person or one play. It will always be about the team. I'm really disappointed for Scott, Jared and Reed, who played their last game tonight but it is about the team as a whole."
On the teams' accomplishments:
"Things unfortunately didn't go our way in the end, but we did some really amazing things this year. I think the final innings we played here today are symbolic of how our year has gone. We never back down from a fight or challenge and that's something that we will carry with us. That is also something that this club takes pride in. I'm proud of my teammates for what we have accomplished this year."
On Mississippi State:
"We played some amazing teams and Mississippi State was a great team. They were aggressive in the box and they took aggressive swings. They kept their cool when they needed to. They did what they needed to and got the job done."
Coach John Cohen
"First of all, it goes without say that Virginia is an outstanding club. Today I found that Virginia's RPI is 2 in the country. They are a really good club. They have phenomenal at bats, they have young, talented pitching and those will bode well for the future. Almost everything we expected out of them came to fruition, even in the last at bat of the game. We knew they were going to run us a little bit. But I'm so proud of our guys. It's so easy after the 3-1 feed that didn't work out to think that the world is going against us. But he had tremendous composure, as do all of these guys. That's how we won 48 ball games. The thing I'm most proud of is that we want to win the whole thing. We don't see this as a job finished. It's a nice short award, but we have to prepare for seven of the best clubs in the country. "
On possible benefit of playing on the road
"I think our kids are very loose, the bench players are extremely selfless. They are all in. It's hard to find that. Especially with 18-22 year olds who are used to being the star. We have pieced it together. It works because we all work together. I think Butch has been able to get that out of our pitching staff especially."
On 9th inning
"We have gone over 3-1 feeds a bazallion times. When I saw that ball hit his glove, I was thinking 'this is impossible.' You have to take a deep breath and you have to discuss it, put it behind you, and realize what is important now. Certainly our kids did that. Not many kids can do that, but our kids did."
Player Jonathan Holder
On finishing out the 9th
"I'm taught to be relaxed on every pitch. Some stuff didn't go my way like on that 3-1 feed. It's easy to give up and throw the towel in. But I tried to take the sting out of the bats and push through it."
On 3-1 feed in the 9th
"It takes a bit to get moving and I got going full speed. Feed was good. I looked down at the bag and had to move right and looked up and the ball was coming. My feet came out from under me."
Player Adam Frazier
On the feeling when he knew Holder was coming into the game
"We felt good about our chances. Even in the 9th after everything, we still felt pretty good. There was a dangerous hitter at the plate. Even with a runner on third, we still felt pretty comfortable."
On 9th inning panic
"There wasn't really any panic. That might be the first time that happened all year. But to win the thing, you have to get the last guy out and that is what we did."
Player Wes Rea
On feeling when Holder comes into the game
"For me, to just keep competing no matter what happens is what I need to do, especially today, when I didn't have my best stuff. For me to keep battling and get our team to the fifth and sixth innings was critical. And hats off to the hitters. I had a feeling early on that we were going to score runs, so for me to get outs and move the game along was what I was focusing on. It is not how well you start. To settle in there and get outs for a few innings and move the game along was really good for our team"
Player Chad Girodo
On what worked on the mound
"Mostly my slider. I would mix in a fastball to keep them honest. I changed my delivery about a week before the season and something clicked. I wanted to get better. I just jumped off a cliff and tried it."
VIRGINIA POST-GAME NOTES
There were two delays due to weather, the first lasted 22 minutes in the bottom of the second inning. The second delay lasted 18 hours and three minutes in the bottom of the seventh
With the loss, UVa lost back-to-back games at Davenport Field for the first time all season
Virginia batters struck out 12 times, a team season high for a game
Brandon Downes hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season in the top of the second inning. It was his first dinger since hitting one on May 23 against Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament
LHP Scott Silverstein matched his shortest outing of the season, tying his 3.1 innings pitched at Clemson on March 16
LHP Kyle Crockett made his 88th career appearance, which ranks No. 5 all-time in the UVa annals
Crockett, with the help of a ground out double play, went 1-2-3 in the sixth inning, the first time during the Super Regionals UVa pitching didn't face more than three batters in an inning - a streak of 14 innings
In the 17 innings of the Super Regional, the Cavalier defense only managed two 1-2-3 innings, also sending MSU down in order in the bottom of the eighth inning
With his walk in the top of the ninth inning, Mike Papi has reached base in 22 consecutive games
Hitting streaks extended: Towns (11), Irving (7), Downes (4), Howard (4), Gragnani (3), King (3)
Virginia's appearance in the 2013 NCAA Tournament serves as the program's 13th all-time tournament appearance, including its 10th straight
Virginia concludes its 2013 with 50 wins, the third 50-win season in program history and third in past four seasons and third-most for a season all-time at UVa
Virginia's appearance in the NCAA Super Regional is the program's fourth appearance and the fourth in five seasons
The Cavaliers are now 33-29 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and 27-22 under head coach Brian O'Connor
Virginia is now 5-6 all-time in the NCAA Super Regionals and 3-5 in NCAA Super Regionals played at Davenport Field
With 4,956 fans entering Davenport Field on Sunday, Virginia sold out its eighth NCAA Super Regional game in a row. UVa drew 4,801 for each of the three games against Oklahoma in 2010 and drew 5,050 fans for each of the three games against UC Irvine in 2011. UVa also drew 4,956 fans to Game 1 of the Charlottesville Super Regional on Saturday against Mississippi State