For the fifth straight game, it's a sell-out crowd of 5,050 at Davenport Field. The Hoos are down 2-1 to the Anteaters of UC Irvine in the bottom of the ninth. Leadoff hitter Danny Hultzen strikes out swinging, while Kenny Swab flies out to first. All of a sudden, the nation's top-seeded Virginia was one out away from another heartbreaking Super Regional loss.
That's when the Cardiac Cavs got down to business.
First it was senior right fielder David Coleman, who boasts the team's highest batting average at .366. With a 1-2 count and Virginia just one strike away from the loss, Coleman fired a single straight up the middle amidst a roaring crowd chanting, "U-V-A! U-V-A!"
Next up was junior first baseman Jared King, who just two nights ago had sparked Virginia offensively with a 3-run homer in the 6-0 shutout of Irvine. King kept the dream alive on a 1-1 count, hitting a rocket straight into Irvine ace Matt Summer's ankle. He would reach first, while pinch runner Michell Shifflett would advance to second.
If you don't feel chills running up you right now, you're doing something wrong.
Richmond, VA sophomore Reed Gragnani's at bat was possibly the least stressful here, as Gragnani received four straight balls to walk to first and load up the bases. The speedy senior from Charlottesville, VA Corey Hunt would then come in to pinch run for King.
And then came sophomore short stop Chris Taylor, a guy who loves to swing at the first pitch. Not this time, apparently, as he watched a strike ball whiz by him. You'll need to watch the video to relive this, but a single up the middle on a 0-1 count brought Shifflett and Hunt in, and sent the Hoos to Omaha. Davenport was nothing short of euphoria.
Iʼm speechless right now," Taylor said after the game. "This is a dream come true. A player can only dream of moments like this and all year long our team has always had that ʻnever quitʼ attitude."
"I am so proud of our guys," head coach Brian O'Connor said. "I donʼt know what else to say. It was absolutely the most thrilling, greatest win in UVa baseball history and it happens to come on our own field. The great thing about it is that I know there are many more great things to come."
Virginia will face Cal in the College World Series on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.