OMAHA, NE (WWBT) - The University of Virginia had chance after chance after chance to get the game-winning run in their must-win game against South Carolina. But after failing to get that run across the plate, a couple of errors gave the win to the Gamecocks.
Adam Matthews scored in the bottom of the 13th inning after Virginia reliever Cody Winiarski botched two throws after fielding bunts, sending defending national champion South Carolina back to the College World Series finals with a 3-2 victory Friday night.
South Carolina closer Matt Price worked out of bases-loaded situations in the 10th, 12th and 13th innings.
Brady Thomas singled leading off the 13th against Winiarski. Matthews came in to run and advanced when Winiarski pivoted and threw wildly trying to get him at second on Peter Mooney's bunt.
Robert Beary followed with another bunt. Winiarski tried to throw out Matthews at third, but he threw the ball away, allowing the winning run to score.
UVA tied the game on a South Carolina error in the 8th. Goochland native John Hicks grounded a ball that should've been fielded by the shortstop. Instead, it wound up in left field, and the tying run came into score.
This came after Thomas hit a pop fly in the 4th inning that just barely fell in between two UVA fielders, and wound up scoring two runs, giving South Carolina the lead.
One hero of the game was UVA's closer Branden Kline threw five scoreless innings in relief, despite getting in a few jams along the way. Kline threw 107 pitches.
UVA's starter Danny Hultzen was superb through three innings. The Golden Spikes Award finalist struck out eight batters in those frames, but was pulled before the fourth inning because he felt ill.
The Gamecocks (53-14) will play Florida (53-17) in an all-Southeastern Conference best-of-three final beginning Monday.