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Grovatt's home run critical for Cavaliers

The home run trot started with Dan Grovatt tossing his bat a quarter-way to first base. Upon touching home plate, the Virginia right fielder removed his helmet, punched it against the plastic of Steven Proscia’s helmet and proceeded to flex his arms while hollering toward his celebrated teammates.

It was a home run Virginia badly needed, giving the Cavaliers a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday in the first game of a best-of-three super regional series. Virginia, which earned the nation’s fifth seed, is one win away from securing a bid to their second consecutive College World Series.

"I guess you can say it was a pretty big home run," Grovatt said.

Grovatt turned on a fastball after Keith Werman moved to third base via a balk. Trailing by one with Werman on third, all Grovatt needed to do was put the ball in play, and a run probably would have scored. The home run changed the entire game, allowing Danny Hultzen to work with a lead.

It continues a hot few weeks for Grovatt, who struggled throughout the season. Grovatt was first-team all-ACC as a sophomore after batting .356 with eight runs. His statistics have declined last week, and Grovatt admitted last week thoughts about the draft might have affected his performance.

He started to heat up at the ACC tournament. Saturday's home run might have been the biggest of his career, and puts Virginia one win away from Omaha.

"Sometimes, there are periods of the year you don't get it done. You don't get hits all the time," Coach Brian O'Connor said. "But, this kid stayed very, very positive. When you're positive and make it about your team...things have an amazing way of working out for you."

By Zach Berman  |  June 13, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
 
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