Virginia forces game three in CWS finals

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June 24th, 2015

Virginia pitcher Josh Sborz (27) celebrates the final out against Vanderbilt in Game 2 of the NCAA baseball College World Series, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Omaha, Neb. Virginia won 3-0, forcing a third game. (Brendan Sullivan/The World-Herald via AP)

Virginia pitcher Josh Sborz (27) celebrates the final out against Vanderbilt in Game 2 of the NCAA baseball College World Series, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Omaha. Virginia won 3-0, forcing a third game. (Brendan Sullivan AP)


 

Omaha, NE – Game one of the championship series of the College World Series was played Monday night.

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The University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University battled through the first six innings in what Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor called a ‘pitcher’s duel.’ But the Commodores offense struck big in the bottom of the 6th, scoring two runs with two outs. They also scored three more runs in the 7th to go up 5-0.

Vanderbilt’s ace-pitcher Carson Fulmer threw seven strong innings allowing only two hits. Fulmer took a no hitter to the 8th inning and the Commodores won 5-1. Vanderbilt junior shortstop Dansby Swanson said he thinks his teammate pitched one of his best games.

“It’s one of those times you want to have your last performance be your best one,” Swanson said. “This definitely ranks up there with them all. I think he was really able to harness in that competitiveness and energy then go out there and pitch and not just throw.“

In game two Vanderbilt started off slowly allowing a base hit as well as a walk but Philip Pfeifer struck out back-to-back Cavaliers and with that Vandy got out of the jam.

Virginia head coach and Omaha native Brian O’Connor said his team knew what it had to do going into game two. It started with a big sixth inning for the Cavs as they knocked in three runs on three hits. O’Connor said this wasn’t his squads’ first rodeo.

“We were in this situation like this Saturday against Florida that if you win you get to continue your season on and if you don’t it’s over,” Brain O’Connor said. “This team has handled that type of adversity all year long.”

He gave the Commodores credit, saying they are a tough team to face.

“What makes Vanderbilt good from an offensive standpoint is they have three guys there in the middle of their lineup that have proven they can hit the ball out of the ballpark,” O’Connor said. “They’re athletic; they have five guys that I would consider good runners and that put pressure on you.”

Virginia wasn’t able to get much going offensively early. The Cavs had two runners on in the 1st and 2nd innings. But were to unable to capitalize until later in the game. Nonetheless, once Virginia took control, there was no looking back. Virginia won the game 3-0. O’Connor said the defending national champion Vanderbilt is a great team, but his team proved they are beatable.
“They did a nice job, they are tough and competitive at the plate you just have to make your pitches,” O’Connor said.
Virginia did make their pitches – and then some. Vanderbilt was 9-0 in the NCAA tournament including 4-0 at the CWS before Tuesday night’s loss. But the Commodores were also 6-14 when trailing after six innings. That was the stat which proved to seal the deal. Game three of the CWS is set for 7pm tomorrow night. The winner will be the 2015 National Champion.

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