- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 18, 2009

OMAHA, Neb. | Andrew Darr doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning, and Arkansas, which had been down to its last strike in the ninth, rallied to defeat Virginia 4-3 in the College World Series on Wednesday night.

Brett Eibner’s two-out, two-run homer off Virginia closer Kevin Arico in the top of the ninth tied it at 3-3, and Arkansas’ Dallas Keuchel put the winning or tying run on base in each of the last four innings to hold off the Cavaliers but escaped each jam.

Arkansas (41-23) plays LSU on Friday and would have to beat the Tigers then and again Saturday to reach next week’s best-of-three finals.

Virginia (49-15-1) was eliminated after going 1-2 in Omaha.

Darr, who hit a two-run double to win the super regional over Florida State, battled for nine pitches against Andrew Carraway before drilling a grounder down the third-base line to score Jarrod McKinney from second.

Carraway (9-2) came on with two out in the ninth and retired eight in a row before McKinney singled with one out in the 12th. The Cavaliers had a chance to retire Darr, but first baseman John Hicks couldn’t come up with a foul ball that came down by the tarp along the right-field stands.

Virginia had a runner on third base in the each of the final four innings but couldn’t push it across against Keuchel, the Razorbacks’ No. 1 starter who made his first relief appearance of the season.

In the ninth, Keuchel (9-3) fell behind Danny Hultzen 3-0 with the bases loaded before getting a hard grounder to short. Tim Carver bobbled the ball but was able to flip to second, and Bo Bigham’s throw to first got Hultzen by a step to complete the double play.

In the following inning, Keuchel struck out Jarrett Parker and John Hicks after Shane Halley made it to third.

In the 11th, Keuchel induced Dan Grovatt’s groundout to strand Franco Valdes.

Steven Proscia led off the 12th with a double and stole third with one out. But Keuchel struck out Hicks and Valdes, with Arkansas catcher Ryan Cisterna throwing to first to get Valdes on a dropped third strike to end the game.

Virginia limited Arkansas to five hits through eight innings, and the Razorbacks were down to their last strike after Arico came on and got two groundouts to start the ninth.

Zack Cox singled up the middle on a 1-2 pitch, and Eibner followed with his shot that came down halfway up the left-field seats to tie it 3-3.

The homer made the Cavaliers regret running themselves out of a couple innings. In Virginia’s two-run fifth, Tyler Cannon got caught trying to stretch a base hit into a double. In the eighth, Proscia overran third and was thrown out in a rundown.

Virginia had been 45-1 when leading after eight innings. Hultzen, the Cavaliers’ starting pitcher, struck out seven without a walk in 6 1/3 innings.

Arkansas starter Drew Smyly extended his scoreless innings streak to 12 1/3 before Hicks homered leading off the fifth.

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