ACC Baseball: Virginia Wins College World Series

The Cinderella run of the Virginia Cavalier baseball team culminated with a rematch of last year’s title game against Vanderbilt, but this time the ‘Hoos defeated the Commodores 4-2 to win the program’s first national championship at the 2015 College World Series Wednesday night in Omaha.

Brandon Waddell took the mound for UVA (44-24), making his program best 53rd career start. The plan was originally for him to go just three innings as this marked his third start in nine days, but despite giving up two runs in the first inning, he settled down to spin a strong outing allowing just four hits and two runs while striking out two in seven innings.

Waddell also had some nifty defense to rob an infield single on this scramble and flip.

Nathan Kirby took it from there striking out five over the final two innings to earn the save and seal the historic victory.

Center Fielder Adam Haseley led the game off with a hit on the very first pitch and finished the night 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. First baseman Pavin Smith had just one hit in the first two games of the series, but he rebounded in a big way in this one hitting a two-run home run to tie the game in the fourth inning. That swing also knocked Vanderbilt starter Walker Buehler out of the game, sending Vandy to the bullpen early.

Third baseman Kenny Towns was another hero, making an impressive diving stop and throw to first that prevented the go-ahead run from scoring in the fourth. He also drove in an insurance run on a single laced back up the middle in the seventh inning. He now has 28 career RBI in NCAA Tournament play which is a program record.

Cavalier pitcher Josh Sborz was named most outstanding player of the College World Series after his great play in Omaha. He pitched 13 scoreless innings and won three games which ties the CWS single-series record.

This closes the book on a surprising run that took the Cavaliers from a team on the brink of missing the ACC Tournament all the way to national champions.

The ‘Hoos also managed to finally break a bizarre streak for their conference. Despite the ACC’s perennial success on the diamond, the win marks the first national title for an ACC school since Wake Forest won back in 1955.


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