Give credit where credit is due. Vanderbilt's nine runs were more than UVa's eight last night, and that was the difference in the ball game. Not to get too complex on you, but when the other team has a bigger number in the "R" column, you're more than likely going to lose.
Such was the case last night as the Hoos dropped the first game of the Championship Series in Omaha.
Luckily for me, you, and anybody else wearing orange and blue, this is a best of three series, and not just a Championship game. The Cavaliers will have their shot.
To get the obvious out of the way, the unbelievable third inning is what did UVa in. After cruising through the first two innings, Nathan Kirby's wheels came off and the Commodores were fortunate enough to take advantage of it for as much as they could. In the end, Kirby allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on only two hits, but walked five. For all you Dads out there coaching their sons, use that as a lesson, when you walk the planet, bad things are likely to happen. Mayberry relieved Kirby and cashed in the rest of Kirby's runs, and allowed a run of his own to give Vandy the 9-2 lead.
Again, give credit where credit is due. Vanderbilt won that inning. Vanderbilt did not win any other inning.
Now that the bad has been talked about, let's focus on the good.
Over the final 6.2 innings, Mayberry and 4th year Austin Young combined to hold the Commodores to one run on four hits and only two walks, while striking out six. The bullpen held their ground when they needed to.
The offense pounded out 15 hits and had probably one of the better performances they have had all season. Every player in the UVa lineup, except Mike Papi, had at least one hit, and two thirds of the lineup scored at least one run.
Give credit where credit is due. Vanderbilt won the game. The game, not the series. UVa should and likely is feeling pretty confident after last night's game. Yes, they are a game away from elimination, but they outplayed Vanderbilt for 8 innings, and if it wasn't for an aberration of a 3rd innings, the roles would likely be reversed.
The work gets a little tougher tonight for UVa who will face the 14th overall pick of this year's draft, Tyler Beede. This won't be the first time UVa has faced a 1st round talent and Beede is far from untouchable.
Give credit where credit is due. Vanderbilt won the first game, but UVa isn't going to go down without a tough fight.