UVA Baseball Beats Ole Miss 4-1; Advances to College World Series Finals
Brian O'Connor's team is headed to the CWS Finals
The Virginia baseball team beat Mississippi 4-1 Saturday at the College World Series in Omaha, and advanced to the final round of the tournament for the first time in program history.
UVa will play the winner of Texas and Vanderbilt Monday at 8 pm in Game One of a three game-series.
Head coach Brian O'Connor says, "Being ranked #1 at the beginning of the year and all the pressure that comes with that, throughout the season and now to be still standing and have a chance to play for a national championship, I couldn't be happier for our guys."
Sophomore outfielder Joe McCarthy says, "It was great to come out here and get a great team win with these guys, and move on to the next round. It's great, especially being able to share it with these group of guys, and coach. It's just a great experience."
Junior first baseman Mike Papi adds, "It's everything that we've been working on all fall, and all spring. It's what we put our blood, sweat, and tears into, and we're extremely proud to make it to the championship series."
The match against the Rebels was the continuation of Friday night's game, which was suspended in the top of the 2nd inning due to lighting and heavy rain.
Josh Sborz got the start on the mound for the Cavaliers Friday, and continued his outing Saturday.
The sophomore pitched five innings for UVa, giving up one run on four hits while striking out four.
Artie Lewicki tossed three scoreless innings, before Nick Howard nailed down the save in the 9th.
"It's a great feeling," says Howard. "We put a lot of work in in the offseason, and we really have something good going, and we feel pretty good."
The victory against the Rebels Saturday means the Wahoos don't have to play a winner-take-all game in the bracket finals Sunday, and can save the pitching staff for the three-game championship series.
O'Connor says, "From a pitching perspective its big, especially for your bullpen. It gives Artie and Nick another day."
Lewicki adds, "Our goal was to not just get here but to win while we're here so to have so much success while we're here and put ourselves in position to win a national championship is all you can ask for."
Sophomore catcher Robbie Coman gave UVa the lead with a clutch, bases loaded, two RBI single in the 4th inning.
"It feels unbelievable," says Coman. "You get up there in situations and you don't want to try to do too much. I think I got a little antsy in my first at bat. Coming up clutch for this team is a huge relief."
Papi says, "That broke it open, its all about momentum and when you can get a clutch 2-run hit like that its great for us."
Brandon Downes also had two hits for Virginia.
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