June 5, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Princeton rode the arm of starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and took full advantage of timely hits by Ryan Reich and Andrew Salini to record a 4-2 victory over the #1 seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the second contest of the Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. Virginia held a 1-0 lead through four innings of play before Princeton scored four of the last five runs in the contest to seal the opening game for both teams in the Regional.
"I don't think it has to be said but that was just a terrific win for us," said Princeton's head coach Scott Bradley. "We had such a long layoff that we just really didn't know what to expect. This is where I think the experience we have really helped us, we didn't panic at all."
After playing through three and a half innings of scoreless baseball, Virginia scored the first run of the game and took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Cavaliers' Scott Headd walked to reach first base before he came around to score a run two batters later when Paul Gillispie laced an RBI-double down the left field line.
Princeton answered right back in the top of the fifth inning and tied the game at 1-1 following back-to-back doubles by Tim Lahey and Ryan Reich. Reich's RBI-double to left-center field plated Lahey for the Tigers' first run of the game.
Princeton took its first lead of the game in the top of the sixth inning and made it a 2-1 contest when Steve Young led off the inning with a single before he scored a run three batters later when Andrew Salini connected on a RBI-single to left field.
The Cavaliers responded in the bottom of the sixth inning and knotted the score at 2-2 when Matt Street's RBI bunt-single to first base plated teammate Ryan Zimmerman from third to score a run. Zimmerman reached base when he single to right-center field to lead-off the side.
But in the top of the eighth inning, the Tigers broke open the tie ballgame and took the lead for good at 4-2 when Princeton's Reich connected on his second double of the game, this time a two-run shot to left field with the bases loaded, to drive in Adam Balkan and B.J. Szymanski after the duo recorded back-to-back singles to lead-off the side. Reich's hit proved to be the game-winner.
Princeton's Ohlendorf (7-3) picked up the win on the mound and went 8.2 innings and was just one strike away from throwing a complete game. He allowed just two runs while scattering eight hits and struck out six batters.
"I really wanted to finish the game," said Ohlendorf. "It was such a big situation so I had a lot of adrenaline going. I was just having a lot of fun out there. I had never pitched over seven innings before in my life, but it was such a big situation I couldn't get tired."
The Tigers' Brian Kappel posted his ninth save of the year by retiring one batter in 0.1 inning of work to close out the game.
UVa starting pitcher Andrew Dobies (6-3) went 7.0 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out a game-high seven batters in the loss.
"For us to play a clean ballgame with no errors against a team with the speed Virginia has was really exciting," said Bradley. "I can't begin to say enough about what Ross (Ohlendorf) did today. I think everyone around here saw a big leaguer today."
With the victory, Princeton's record improves to 28-18 overall, while the loss drops Virginia's record to 42-14 on the season.
The Tigers advance to play in Game 4 and will now face the #2 seeded Vanderbilt Commodores at 7:00 PM. The Cavaliers will turn right around and face the #3 seeded George Mason Patriots in the first elimination contest (Game 3) of the Charlottesville Regional at 3:00 PM.
-- NCAA --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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