FORT WORTH — From their perch in Dallas Baptist University's dugout Monday at Lupton Stadium, Red Oak's MD Johnson and Midlothian's Jimmy Fouse flashed a sweet grin of revenge.
Two days of baseball, several rain delays and a Fort Worth NCAA Regional 6-3 opening loss to the University of Virgina seemingly derailed the Patriots hopes of moving onto the super regional.
Two Herculean bombs by senior outfielder Austin Listi put the train back on the tracks and led No. 3 seed DBU to an 11-8 victory over the No. 2 seeded Cavaliers.
"It's sad to see the end of the season is here," Virginia Head Coach Brian O'Connor said. "They fought all year long but I'm most disappointed for the seniors and other players that will not be wearing our uniform again. This game, quite simply, came down to the first couple of innings. Sometimes the game is as simple as throwing strikes and handling the baseball. If you don't do those things, you're not going to win. At one point DBU had nine runs on the board and only two or three hits."
The (42-20) Patriots did the bulk of their damage after scoring five runs in the first inning and four in the second. Tim Millard's RBI single scored Austin Listi and Cameron Duzenack's RBI double scored Matt Duce in the bottom of the first.
DBU met Virginia (43-16) on the same field they'd fallen to the out-of-state upstarts days before.
During the first game between the Cavaliers and Patriots, Virginia used 10 hits to score six runs off DBU's rotation while Derek Casey allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings.
Fouse pitched the final two innings of Friday's loss to Virginia, allowing three hits and striking out two batters with 26 pitches. He was one of the three pitchers — Jordan Martinson and Dalton Higgins were the others — Head Coach Dan Heefner shuffled out to the mound at the beginning of the weekend.
He is also one of the three players on Heefner's roster that came from Ellis County. Ovilla Christian School right-handed pitcher Jacob Webb makes three.
Listi's two home runs, one on the second inning and the other in the eighth also tied Josh Causey's 2002 DBU record for most home runs in a single season. Listi finished 2-for-4 and drove in game-tying high three runs.
It was also the second of two back-to-back games for Listi after slamming a pair over the wall during a 6-5 edging of Central Connecticut State University on Saturday.
Camden Duzenack, who went 2-for-5 at the plate and drove in three runs, sent a seventh-inning Harrington pitch sailing over the left-center wall for an opposite field home run — his ninth of the season.
Under Head Coach Brian O’Connor, who’s in his 14th season with UVA, the Cavaliers reached the College World Series twice after opening the NCAA tournament on the road. UVA’s record in NCAA Regionals away from Davenport Field was 7-4.
It's now 7-6.
"We had a chance last night and we were in striking distance, but today was different," O'Connor said. "It didn't surprise me that our guys were right there fighting in the wind with the tying run at the plate. This team's won a lot of games but, more importantly, they've learned the right way and continue to pass that along to the younger players."
Virginia rallied and scored five runs in the top of the ninth and final inning with a double by Andy Webber, a RBI single by Ernie Clement and Adam Haseley RBI double but was shut down with a game-ending groundout courtesy of Higgins' final pitch.
The Patriots will face Texas Christian University and Midlothian High School alumnus Zach Humphreys in the in the final game of the tournament. It's scheduled for Monday night at Lupton Stadium. Because of the quick 8:20 p.m. start to the DBU-TCU matchup, Heefner nor any Patriot players spoke after the game.
The (44-16) Horned Frogs beat Central Connecticut 9-6 and Virginia 5-1. Humphreys, a designated hitter for TCU, finished a combined 1-for-9 in both contests but was responsible for two of the 15 RBIs in the two victories.
As a team, NCAA No. 6 TCU went 6-for-34 at the plate against the Cavaliers and 10-for-31 against Central Connecticut State.
The Horned Frog senior Brian Howard (9-3, 4.29 ERA) will face the Patriot junior Gavin Fritz (0-0, 4.32 ERA).
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI