Tuesday, June 24, 2014

College Baseball Update

Vanderbilt and Virginia locked horns tonight in the first game of the final playoff in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, and they played one of the strangest games you will ever see.  Coming into the top of the third, Vandy trailed 2-0 and Virginia's ace, Nathan Kirby, had been lights out.  But in the third inning Kirby walked five batters, and UVA had a huge error when their first baseman bobbled an easy ground ball.  When all was said and done, Vanderbilt had scored nine runs -- only six of which were earned -- on only three hits.  Given how difficult it normally is to score at the new ballpark in Omaha, you would think that a 9-2 lead would be pretty safe.

But not if you were a Vandy fan.

UVA scored three runs in the bottom of the third to make it 9-5.

UVA scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 9-7.

Vandy brought in John Kilichowski, a freshman, who got through the sixth and seventh innings unscathed.  But by the 8th inning, he was struggling.  He gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, and UVA had the tying runs on base with no one out.  Fortunately for Vandy, UVA then gave Kilichowski an out, as the next batter bunted the runners to second and third.  Vandy Manager Tim Corbin then faced the decision of his life -- leave Kilichowski to face the next two batters, or bring in Adam Ravenelle, his best reliever.

At least one old Vandy fan was screaming for Ravenelle, but Corbin stuck with Kilichowski.  The next two batters whipped vicious liners through the box -- but each time, Vandy's shortstop was able to cut off the ball and get the runner at first.  One run scored, but the other did not, and Vandy still led 9-8.

Finally, in the 9th inning, Vandy did bring in Ravenelle, and he retired the Cavs 1-2-3 to give Vandy a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.  The Vandy fans looked very, very happy.

And apologies to U of L.  Earlier in this CWS, I blamed them for the slow pace of the Vandy/U of L game.  But it's the Dores who seem to play at a slow pace.  This game lasted for 3 hours and 50 minutes, and gave us the following odd line score:

Vanderbilt:  9 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors
Virginia:  8 runs, 15 hits, 1 error

Vandy fans will take it.  But UVA fans will go away still thinking that they have the better team.


  1. great win!!! aren't they all? make the most of what the the other team gives you. GO VANDY

  2. great win!!! aren't they all? make the most of what the the other team gives you. GO VANDY

  3. i totally agree with anonymous. GO, VANDY!

  4. Whatever happens tonight in Omaha, Go Heath, you're already the Winner Took All (Our Hearts!) of HP Nation.


  6. against the odds; VANDY is CHAMPIONS!!!!! so proud. ( is champions?) still sounds right.

  7. Congratulations to Anonymous, Go Heath, his wife, my wife, Sneds, Sonny Gray, Roy Blount Jr., et al.