CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- For most of their first-ever NCAA super regional, Maryland has fought off rallies by Virginia that, with every base runner, became more and more likely to produce a big inning.
The Terps survived in Game 1 on Saturday, but they couldn’t overcome Virginia’s 17-hit barrage or the three-run seventh inning that broke open the Cavaliers' 7-3 win Sunday at a sold-out Davenport Field.
“Good teams like Virginia will take those kind of base hits and turn them into good things,” Maryland coach John Szefc said. “It could have gone a lot better for us, but the bottom line is, it’s a three-game series, and realistically, it would have been very difficult to come in here and beat these guys the first two.”
Virginia’s win forced a decisive third game in the series, which will be played 7 p.m. Monday, with Maryland’s first-ever College World Series bid hanging in the balance.
Maryland already trailed, 2-1, on Sunday when Virginia's Daniel Pinero and Mike Papi started the seventh with a pair of singles. Maryland freshman starter Mike Shawaryn hit a batter to load the bases with his 97th and final pitch, and Virginia tagged the Terps bullpen to put the game out of reach.
Relievers Tayler Stiles and Jared Price allowed all three inherited runners to score in the seventh, and Virginia tacked on a single run in each the eighth and ninth innings off relievers Ben Brewster (Park) and Alex Robinson, respectively.
Maryland scored two runs in the ninth, but the comeback attempt fell four runs short.
The seventh inning was the type of output the Cavaliers had built towards for the entire series.
Virginia filled up the hit column against Shawaryn, but the Cavaliers didn’t push a run across until the third. Papi, who had three hits in both games this weekend, drove in a run with a two-out RBI single. Virginia had base runners in all but the second inning, creating tense situations for Maryland’s pitchers.
“It’s definitely a grind,” Shawaryn said. “They’re a great team. They put the bat on a lot of balls, but it’s tough to get those 27 outs.”
The Terps threatened several times early, but they couldn’t score. A lack of timely hitting and mental errors on the base paths doomed the Terps.
With two on and two outs in the first, Papi made an over-the-shoulder basket catch at first to end the inning. Maryland had a runner doubled off first on a line drive in the third inning, and squandered a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity in the fourth with a line-out double play at second base.
“We hit some balls hard right at people, we had a couple speed bumps on the base paths, but that’s going to happen at times,” Szefc said. “We’ve been pretty good with that stuff throughout most of the year. I think it was just one of those days where a lot of things just did not go our way.”
Maryland broke through against Virginia starter Brandon Waddell in the fifth. Kevin Martir, who had two hits and an RBI, singled with one out, advanced to second when Charlie White was hit by a pitch, and scored on Brandon Lowe’s third single of the game to level the game at 1.
Virginia picked up their pitcher in the top of the sixth.
Third baseman Kenny Towns, who had three hits Sunday, doubled down the left-field line to lead off the sixth, and he advanced to third on a misplay by left fielder Tim Lewis. A groundout to shortstop from designated hitter John La Prise scored Towns to put Virginia back up, 2-1.
With two men on in the bottom of the sixth, Waddell gave way to Artie Lewicki, who was scheduled to start Monday's game. Lewicki fanned Martir on three straight sliders, and retired the first seven batters he faced before Maryland scored two in the ninth.
Lowe, a freshman second baseman, led Maryland with three hits, while Jose Cuas and Anthony Papio also had two hits in the loss.
Waddell earned the win with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, while Shawaryn picked up his fourth loss of the season. He allowed five earned runs and 12 hits in six-plus innings.