Game 1 Summary: Virginia v. Arkansas

The 2015 Men’s College World Series kicked off with Virginia leading over Arkansas 5-3 at TD Ameritrade Park, thanks in part to Daniel Pinero’s three stolen bases and three hits. Over 24,000 fans came out to watch the spectacle.

Possibly thanks in part to the new flat seam ball, this was the first CWS game featuring two home runs since 2012’s Florida State vs. Arizona. 2014’s CWS saw only three HRs the entire time.

Joe McCarthy kicked off the Series with a solo home run to right field in the second inning. Arkansas center fielder Andrew Benintendi answered with a solo shot of his own to the right field bullpen in the fifth. After McCarthy’s homer, Arkansas answered with two runs in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and third, Benintendi hit a sac fly to left field to score Joe Serrano from third. Clark Eagan then hit a double that scored Bobby Wernes.

Virginia took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. Ernie Clement was hit by a pitch and made it to second on a groundout by Adam Haseley. Pinero hit him home with an RBI double down the left field line. One batter later, Matt Thaiss’ single plated Pinero. But the rally ended there as Thaiss was thrown out trying to extend his hit into a double. Benintendi’s fifth inning homer knotted the game at 3-3 before Virginia took the lead for good in the eighth.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Cavaliers rallied to break a 3-3 tie. Pinero singled to right field and stole second and third to be in scoring position for Kenny Towns. Towns hit a double up the right field line to score Pinero and secure the game for Virginia.

Teams with the lead after eight innings have so far been unbeaten in CWS games at TD Ameritrade, but Virginia added an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI single by Tyler Clement that scored pinch runner Thomas Woodruff.

Trey Killian took the loss for the Razorbacks. He falls to 3-5 after allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Virginia stole five bases on eight attempts and finished with 10 hits. Reliever Josh Sborz earned his fifth win of the season with five strikeouts and one hit in three innings of work.

Arkansas (40-24) will face elimination later today against Miami. Virginia (40-22) will play Florida following the conclusion of the Arkansas-Miami game.