Our fine sponsors over at Samsung TV asked us a simple question. What's your favorite college sports highlight? Now, being a Virginia fan, there's obviously a long list of highlights I can choose from. Like the time when Virginia football b..hmm. Or hey what about the time when our basketball team won the...okay I got nothing on that front either.
Alright, that's not fair. There actually have been a lot of great moments in Virginia sports history. Virginia Football beating FSU on the 10-year anniversary of handing the Seminoles their first-ever ACC loss? Sean Singletary's off-balance, buzzer-beater over Duke (and the obvious ensuing camera stare)? Beating Duke in back-to-back years in the cozy confines of U-Hall? These are all contenders.
But for me, I don't call any of them my "favorite" sports moment. (Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm probably more taking this question to mean my favorite sports "moment" rather than "highlight" as the original question is phrased. If I had to pick a highlight, it'd be the Singletary's buzzer beater.) Virginia baseball's Super Regional win over UC Irvine just last year.
You know the one I'm talking about. Heading into the ninth, the teams were tied at one run a piece, with UVa as the home squad (because, as you recall, Virginia was the No. 1 national seed. The No. 1 national seed!). Hearts in Charlottesville and across Wahoo Nation sank when an error led to runners on the corners for the Anteaters, and ultimately the go-ahead run.
Things were not looking good for the Hoos as Irvine retired the first two Virginia batters. Down a run with no one on base and two outs in the decisive Game 3, a return trip to Omaha seemed unlikely.
But then came the magic. Then came my favorite sports moment. David Coleman sparked a little bit of faith in all of us when he singled up the middle. Jared King came up with a big infield single, and Reed Gragnani was intentionally walked to load the bases. All of a sudden, the Cavalier faithful, myself included, realized that this really could happen. One big pitch, one big hit was all we needed. Chris Taylor, who had earned two hits in each of the other two Super Regional games that year, was at bat, and he only had one hit on the day.
He was due, right?
Taylor sent his second pitch straight up the middle to bring in Mitchell Shifflett (who was pinch-running for Coleman) and Corey Hunt (who had come in for King), sending the Hoos to their second-ever College World Series.
The highlight itself was pretty amazing. But what makes it my favorite is that it reminded me that it's not over until the fat lady sings (is that still PC?). And if anything, there's some truth to this "Cardiac Cavs" theory, as evidenced by this and basically any time anything good happens to us. We got a lot of Rule 2(b)'s thrown our way, but every once in a while, it's nice to have nice things. The only rough patch to this story is that sadly, those unwilling to give Olympic / non-revenue sports a shot are missing out on a ton of little Wahoo gems.
What's your favorite UVa sports highlight?