CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Kenny Towns had three hits, Artie Lewicki pitched 3 1/3 innings of solid relief and Virginia beat Maryland 7-3 Sunday to force a deciding Game 3 of the NCAA Charlottesville super regional.
The Cavaliers (48-14) had 17 hits, including four in a decisive seventh inning as they sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs. Towns, Derek Fisher and Brandon Downes came through with RBIs.
The 17 hits in an NCAA tournament game are the second-most in Virginia history. Mike Papi and Daniel Pinero also had three hits apiece. Papi is batting .550 with a home run and six RBIs in this NCAA tournament.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “We’ve got a veteran offensive group and I knew last night, going into today, personally I had a really good feeling that this team would rise up today.
“Certainly, there’s a lot of talent on those ball club and they showed that today.”
Lewicki relieved starter Brandon Waddell (9-3) with two outs and runners at first and second base in the sixth with Virginia holding a 2-1 lead. The right-hander left those runners stranded and then retired seven straight until the ninth inning.
It was Lewicki’s first bullpen appearance since April 8 at James Madison. He scattered two hits and didn’t give up an earned run.
“It’s been a while since I came out of the pen so I was definitely excited,” Lewicki said. “It was a different feeling, but I was just trying to go out there and throw strikes and it worked out.”
Maryland starter Mike Shawaryn (11-4) gave up five runs on a season-high 12 hits. The Terrapins (40-22) got three hits and an RBI from Brandon Lowe.
Game 3 is Monday.
Neither O’Connor nor Maryland coach John Szefc have announced their starting pitcher.
Virginia is 2-1 all-time in deciding super regional games. Maryland is playing in its first super regional in program history.
“You just kind of have to regather and flush this real quick and come back very mentally prepared tomorrow,” Szefc said. “That’s obviously what we plan on doing.”
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