OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Mike Papi’s RBI double into right-center with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Virginia a 2-1 victory over Mississippi in the College World Series on Sunday night.
The Cavaliers’ win came as Nathan Kirby and Artie Lewicki combined for the first one-hitter at the CWS in 31 years.
The Rebels elected to pitch to Virginia’s top hitter and RBI leader even though first base was unoccupied. Aaron Greenwood (3-2) ran the count full before Papi drilled the ball into the gap, allowing Nate Irving to score from second.
Virginia (50-14) plays TCU in a winners game on Tuesday night. Ole Miss (46-20) meets Texas Tech in an elimination game in the afternoon.
Lewicki (2-0) earned the win in relief after Kirby gave up one hit and one run over seven innings. Ole Miss converted two walks and a groundout to tie it in the eighth.
The one-hitter was the first since Alabama’s Alan Dunn and Tim Meacham threw one against Arizona State in 1983.
Ole Miss’ only hit against Kirby was Errol Robinson’s single leading off the third, but the senior left-hander walked three and needed relief help from Lewicki in the eighth.
The Cavaliers had converted three singles and a walk into a run in the fifth and then hoped Kirby could take them the rest of the way.
Ole Miss center fielder Auston Bousfield kept Virginia from taking a three-run lead in the seventh when, with two runners on, he made an over-the-shoulder catch of Derek Fisher’s fly to end the inning.
That big defensive play put the Rebels in position to tie it after Kirby, who had retired 14 of the previous 15 batters, walked Sikes Orvis and Colby Bortles to start the eighth. Lewicki came on, the runners moved over on a sacrifice and then pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock made it 1-1 with his RBI groundout.
Rebels starter Chris Ellis allowed six hits, walked four and struck out three in six innings. Jeremy Massie entered with a runner on base and none out in the seventh and, thanks to Bousfield’s spectacular catch, got out of the seventh unscathed.
Greenwood pitched a perfect eighth but walked Irving to start the bottom of the ninth. Branden Coswell moved him over with a sacrifice. After Daniel Pinero struck out, Papi delivered his game-winning hit to spark Virginia’s celebration.