Cavaliers blank 'Eaters

College Baseball

Gillespie takes blame for blown scoring chance in the first, which turns out to be UC Irvine's last at Virginia.

June 11, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,
  • Virginia shortstop Chris Taylor is tagged out at home by UC Irvine catcher Ronnie Shaeffer during the first game of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional at Davenport Field on the campus of the University of Virginia.
Virginia shortstop Chris Taylor is tagged out at home… (Rafael Suanes-US…)

With 24 seasons of Division I coaching and 38 seasons as a college head coach, Mike Gillespie has more experience than just about anyone in college baseball.

But all his years and all his wisdom couldn't save the 71-year-old UC Irvine skipper from mucking up the first important play of an NCAA Super Regional at Virginia's Davenport Field on Saturday.

Gillespie, coaching third base, said his misread of a slow roller off the bat of Drew Hillman with one out and runners on second and third in the first inning, helped provide some early momentum for the Cavaliers, who went on to a 6-0 triumph in front of a capacity crowd of 5,050.

"It was my fault," Gillespie, reached by telephone after the game, said of the play, on which Virginia recorded an inning-ending 5-3-4-2 double play to eliminate the last Anteater to reach third base. "We gave a sign that had the runners running on a ground ball. D.J. [Crumlich, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, advanced to second on a walk to Sean Madigan and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Hernandez] was all set to go, but I read [Hillman's tapper just top the left of the mound] as a comebacker and I gave the code word for [Crumlich] to stop. It was a breakdown on my part and it was a huge play in the game."


UCI (42-17) countered by throwing a runner out at the plate on a slow bouncer to third baseman Hernandez in the bottom of the first. But the Cavaliers (53-9), the No. 1 national seed, scored two in the third and broke it open on junior Jared King's three-run homer in the sixth off of UCI All-American starting pitcher Matt Summers.

King went three for four to pace a 12-hit attack by the hosts, who are now 3-0 against UCI in the postseason, in which they have outscored the 'Eaters, 19-1.

UCI had won the opening game of its two previous Super Regional appearances, in 2007 at Wichita State and in 2008 at LSU.

Summers, the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year who had won his previous nine decisions and his previous six starts, while giving up just one earned run and seven hits in 24 innings over his last three starts coming into Saturday, gave up a career-worst five earned runs in six innings.

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