Originally Published: June 18, 2014

Another day of survival on Wednesday

By Mitch Sherman | ESPN.com

OMAHA, Neb. -- Two rounds are complete at the College World Series, with Vanderbilt and Virginia in command.

The Cavaliers outlasted TCU 3-2 in 15 innings on Tuesday, matching the longest game in the history of this event. Daniel Pinero's sacrifice fly was the walk-off winner. Earlier, Ole Miss eliminated Texas Tech with a 2-1, walk-off win on John Gatlin's single that bounced over a five-man infield in the ninth inning.

Up next, Texas and UC Irvine fight for survival Wednesday night (8 ET, ESPN), a rematch of the opening game Saturday, a 3-1 win for the Anteaters.

Storylines to watch:

The pitching matchup: UC Irvine looks to junior left-hander Evan Manarino (4-3, 2.79 ERA), who has 10 starts in 22 outings this year -- most recently on May 13 against UCLA. He hasn't pitched more than five innings since Feb. 19. Texas counters with sophomore right-hander Chad Hollingsworth (3-0, 1.36), a season-long reliever who made his first start June 2 and fired a complete-game two-hitter in the Longhorns' 4-1 Houston Regional championship game victory over Texas A&M.

The spark plugs: Not much doubt exists for either team about the source of its offensive energy. The Eaters look to leadoff man and third baseman Taylor Sparks, who provided the game-tying triple in Irvine's three-run eighth inning to beat UT on Saturday. For Texas, it's center fielder Mark Payton, who hits in the 3-hole and saw his 101-game on-base streak snapped in the CWS opener. Texas could use a big night from Payton, who was 1-for-3 against Louisville on Monday.

The intangibles: Using these clubs' history as a gauge, UC Irvine will gamble; Texas, likely, will not. Mike Gillespie and Augie Garrido coach a similar style. Both teams play station-to-station baseball with plenty of bunts. Don't expect to see the first home run of this CWS on Thursday. Gillespie figures to try a hit-and-run in the right spot, and he's always up for a squeeze bunt. Additionally, the Eaters are not nearly as deep as Texas in the bullpen, so Irvine may have to make a few moves outside of its comfort zone unless Manarino pitches deep into the game.

Mitch Sherman

ESPN Staff Writer


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