Virginia delivers first CWS walk-off in three years
TCU mounts late rally to drop Texas Tech after Morrison fans career-high 10
OMAHA, Neb. -- A day full of dominant starting pitching performances ended with the first walk-off at the College World Series in three years.
Virginia first baseman Mike Papi crushed Aaron Greenwood's two-out, full-count offering deep into the right-center-field gap for a double to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 win over Ole Miss on Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park.
"Every walk-off is awesome. It's speechless. You don't know what to say," said Papi, the 38th overall pick by the Indians in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft. "But having it done in the College World Series makes it even that much better."
The walk-off was the first in College World Series action since June 24, 2011, and came off the bat of a hitter who earlier in the game was intentionally walked.
That instance, in the sixth inning, led to an RBI single by Virginia's Joe McCarthy -- the cleanup hitter behind Papi.
"It's not like you feel a little uncomfortable just pitching around him and walking him to get to McCarthy. We did that last time," said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco, noting McCarthy and left fielder Derek Fisher. "So it's three guys. Not the place that you want to be with the winning run at second base."
Both starting pitchers stymied the bats throughout the evening, as Virginia left-hander Nathan Kirby tossed 7 1/3 innings of one-hit ball and Ole Miss righty Chris Ellis (third round, Angels) surrendered one run on six hits in six-plus innings.
Ole Miss' lone run came in the eighth, when Kirby was removed after opening inning with two walks and first baseman Sikes Orvis scoring on a pinch-hit RBI groundout by Holt Perdzock.
"Chris did a phenomenal job today. So did our pitchers," Papi said. "They were very good with runners in scoring position. They started hard. They started soft. They mixed it up."
In the day's first game, Texas Christian University and right-hander Preston Morrison overcame a late rally and took advantage of a key Texas Tech error to defeat the Red Raiders, 3-2.
Morrison fanned a career-high 10 batters, while Texas Tech left-hander Chris Sadberry (sixth, Marlins) held TCU to only three hits in seven innings.
Morrison's career effort was nearly wasted and the Horned Frogs appeared on their way to losing to in-state and Big 12 rival Texas Tech after the Red Raiders scored two runs in the top of the eighth to go ahead.
But instead of getting rattled, TCU mounted an eighth-inning comeback.
"Every team in the College World Series is resilient. You can't get here without having that character trait as a team," said TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle, whose team improved to 48-16. "I'm not telling you I'm very comfortable with it, but these guys are. And they don't panic a bit."
Texas Tech right fielder Stephen Smith's one-out single in the eighth knocked Morrison out of the game, bringing in reliever Riley Ferrell. Ferrell gave up a pinch-hit single to Anthony Lyons before left fielder Tyler Neslony followed with a two-run triple to give Texas Tech a 2-1 lead as it turned the game over to its bullpen.
But the momentum quickly shifted back to the Horned Frogs.
TCU shortstop Keaton Jones knocked a leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth off Drozd and was sacrificed to second. TCU's Cody Jones (38th, Indians) hit a chopper up the middle, which was fielded by Texas Tech second baseman Alec Humphreys -- who just entered the game -- on a great backhanded play behind the bag. But Humphreys threw wildly to first, allowing Keaton Jones to score.
Two batters later, left fielder Boomer White knocked the game-winning single to score Cody Jones.
"[Drozd] was really good against us earlier in the year, and he's a really good pitcher," White said. "So I knew I was going to have to fight. And God willing I got one to drop in."
Texas Tech tried to mount a two-out rally in the top of the ninth -- getting two runners on -- but Ferrell induced a grounder to end it.
TCU 3, Texas Tech 2
Virginia 2, Ole Miss 1
Texas vs. Louisville, 3 p.m. ET*
UC Irvine vs. Vanderbilt, 8 p.m. ET
* -- elimination game