Virginia beats Elon 11-3; super regional next
Derek Fisher emerged from an NCAA tournament slump with two hits and three RBIs and Virginia advanced to the super regionals for the fourth time in five years with an 11-3 victory against Elon on Sunday night.
Fisher, a sophomore, was 0 for 23 in his career in the tournament before he hit a game-tying, two-run single in the third inning. He added an RBI single in the fourth as the Cavaliers (50-10) scored eight times over two innings.
"There was one pitch in one spot I was looking for, and I got it," Fisher said of the inside fastball.
Freshman reliever David Rosenberger (3-0) pitched five brilliant innings in relief after the Cavaliers' big inning. The left-hander allowed just two hits, struck out four and walked none before Austin Young and Josh Sborz worked the ninth.
"For a freshman to pitch in that situation, to come in in that scenario in the fourth was just tremendous," Cavaliers coach Brian O'Connor said. "I know he was waiting for the right opportunity, and tonight it was."
Elon (34-30) got a two-run homer from Ryan Kinsella in the first and an RBI double from Casey Jones in the third to take a 3-0 lead on the Cavaliers' home field, but had only two baserunners against Rosenberger, both erased by double plays.
"We hit right-handers," Phoenix coach Mike Kennedy said. "We've done it all year. When they turned that guy around and brought that lefty in, I knew we might be in trouble."
Virginia had managed just four runs in winning its first two games in the regional, but its offense came alive in the third.
"I knew it was just a matter of time before a lot of those guys broke out," O'Connor said.
Nate Irving doubled with one out and Jared King, who had just one hit in his last 20 NCAA tournament at-bats, doubled him home. After walks to Joe McCarthy and Brandon Downes, Fisher ripped a single just past Phoenix second baseman Chris Bresnahan. With two outs, Nick Howard's single brought home two more, and Kelly Towns' double made it 6-3.
An RBI double by Downes and Fisher's RBI single in the fourth made it 8-3.
Irving added a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and Towns had an RBI groundout in the seventh and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth to force home the final run.
The Cavaliers will host a super regional against either Mississippi State or Central Arkansas next weekend.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.