UVA Baseball Wins College World Series Championship
OMAHA, Nebr. (WVIR) -
The Virginia baseball team won the NCAA National Championship for the first time in program history Wednesday night, as the Cavaliers defeated Vanderbilt 4-2 in the College World Series finals.
“I'm just so proud of these guys,” says Virginia Head Coach Brian O'Connor. “They hung together all year and got to this postseason. It's just amazing what a group of guys that stay together and play for each other and pick each other up and don't give up can accomplish. We're very, very proud of this championship and feel very, very fortunate. I said it out on the field, Vanderbilt's all class. Their team sat in that dugout for the entire presentation. That's certainly a classy program, and they do it right. We just feel fortunate that we found a way. Kenny Towns stepped up and (Brandon) Waddell and (Nathan) Kirby and (Pavin) Smith and so many different guys playing great defense. This is our first championship and one that these guys will never forget.”
Relief pitcher Josh Sborz was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after working 13 scoreless innings and earning three wins and a save in Omaha.
Second baseman Ernie Clement, shortstop Daniel Pinero, third baseman Kenny Towns and starting pitcher Brandon Waddell joined Sborz on the All-College World Series Team.
Freshman Pavin Smith tied the game with a two-run home run in the 4th inning, and gave the Cavaliers the lead with a two-out RBI single in the 5th.
Kenny Towns drove in Adam Haseley with an RBI basehit in the 7th inning.
Brandon Waddell pitched seven innings for the Cavaliers, allowing two runs on four hits.
Nathan Kirby pitched the final two innings for UVA, and struck out five of the eight batters he faced, including the final batter of the game.
Waddell says, "To have all the adversity we went through at times it didn't look pretty, the times peopled doubted, to be able to come together as a team to overcome all of that its exciting, it makes it that much better."
Senior Kenny Towns says, "It feels incredible, it feels surreal right now, just being able to celebrate this with a group of guys especially with what we've been through. is something I'll never forget, especially with these coaches and the hard work they put into it, you feel great for them too, its an incredible feeling right now."
Junior outfielder Joe McCarthy says, "It doesn't feel real to me, but the entire postseason run, being able to spend it with these guys, just battling back in every game like we have, its an amazing feeling."
Virginia is the first ACC team to win the baseball national title since Wake Forest in 1955.
The three-game CWS Championship Series was a rematch of the finals from last year, when the Commodores beat the 'Hoos two games to one.
The Cavaliers' baseball team joins the men's soccer team and men's tennis team as national champions in the 2014-15 school year, and the UVa Athletic Program now claims 23 national titles across all sports.
The University of Virginia will celebrate the baseball team in a ceremony Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the event is free and open to the public.
Free parking will be available in the John Paul Jones Arena and University Hall parking lots.