It was seemingly never going to end. TCU and UVa would send countless hitters to plate only for them to return to the dugout at the end of the inning to go back in the field.
Most knew that the game would be a pitcher's duel, but none could have expected a 15 inning game that featured neither team scoring from the 5th inning til the end. Luckily, the Cavaliers came away on top thanks to a leadoff ground rule double from Nate Irving. Irving was pinch run for by Thomas Woodruff (who scored the game winning run against Ole Miss just two nights ago) and was moved to third via a sacrifice bunt from Brandon Cogswell. After two failed safety squeeze attempts from Daniel Pinero, the 1st year launched a deep fly ball to centerfield that was deep enough to score Woodruff and secure the victory.
Much will be said in the coming days about the lack of offense at the College World Series, as it should. However, both pitching staffs were nearly flawless the entire game. Brandon Waddell started for the Cavaliers and gave the performance the Hoos needed holding TCU to only two runs on six hits and no walks over seven full innings.
As the bullpen has done all season long for UVa, they took over after Waddell came out in the 8th. Hoos' closer Nick Howard had his longest outing of the season striking out six and allowing only a walk and a lone hit over four innings. Whit Mayberry relieved Howard in the 12th, and although he struggled with command at times, held TCU scoreless over two more innings. After Mayberry came 4th year Artie Lewicki who shut down Ole Miss over the final two frames on Sunday. Lewicki shut the Horned Frogs down over two more innings by not allowing a single base runner and striking out two.
The Cavalier offense, while it went quiet from the 9th through 14th innings, had a strong showing against a top pitching staff. The hitters totaled 11 hits on the night including 9 against TCU starter Branden Finnegan, the most he had allowed all season. They were lead mainly by Brandon Cogswell at the top of the lineup who's double to begin the game started UVa's scoring and would come around to score again in the 5th inning to tie the game.
With the win the Hoos remain in the driver's seat in Pool play to get to the Championship Series next week. More importantly, they will get Wednesday and Thursday off before facing the winner of the Ole Miss-TCU game on Friday night. As mentioned, TCU and Ole Miss will play Thursday with the loser going home.
Enjoy the victory, get more sleep when you can, and know that there are still three more Ws to get.