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The View from Omaha: CWS Finals Game 2

The setting was the same but the result was different. And different, in this case, is good! Virginia blanked Vanderbilt 3-0 to force a deciding game 3. As usual, we bring you a perspective that is as much about the experience as it is the game.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

One conversation that I had repeatedly with folks out here in Omaha yesterday was about the idea that the Virginia baseball team had overachieved so much this post-season that anything else was just gravy at this point. We all agreed that, if we lost Game 2, then come Thursday or Friday we would probably fall back on that sentiment and be comfortable with what occurred.

But right now, right here in Omaha, this team is here and is capable of more. So why shouldn't we go out and take it?

I'm sure that many 'Hoos, no matter where they were watching Game 2 of the CWS felt the same way. But the feeling was especially palpable here in Omaha. Probably had something to do with the players' families that were in attendance. And probably something to do with the types of fans that travel to these events.

But there's little doubt in my mind that the atmosphere here in Omaha and at TD Ameritrade Park had a lot to do with it as well. The place just makes you feel like anything is possible. Which, when you think about it, is the only way to describe what this team has done so far this post-season.

There's only one way this story can end, right? It has to end with a Virginia championship, right? The baseball gods wouldn't write 99% of a fairy tale and then let the bad guys win on the last page, would they? But alas, its Virginia. Storybook doesn't happen to us, right? Rule 2(b)?

But I digress... back to last night.

I don't know who I am more impressed with: Adam Haseley, Thomas Woodruff or Josh Sborz. But I think I have to go with Haseley. A freshman, making only his fourth start of the season on the mound, on the biggest of stages and he shuts down one of the best teams in the country.

Remember the tweet I mentioned after Game 1? I'll remind you:

Obviously Fulmer wasn't a part of Game 2, but that "best player ... in college baseball" ? Yeah, he was still there. So were all the other All-Name team members from Vandy (Seriously - Rhett Wiseman, Dansby Swanson and Zander Wiel bat 2-3-4 in their lineup). And Haseley shut them all down.

I was asked before the game who I thought would be in the weekend rotation next year. I didn't give Haseley enough credit during that conversation. He proved me - and a lot of people - wrong.

Random Musings:

  • We've still never lost consecutive games in the College World Series.
  • If you searched our image database here for 'Sborz' you'd get a lot of photos of Josh yelling. He likes to yell, apparently. And if you pitch like he does, you can yell basically whenever you want.
  • There was some chatter when we made it to Omaha that we wouldn't fare so well against the good teams. We had coasted through the Regional and Super Regional playing no one but 2-seeds or lower. Well, I guess that chatter was wrong:

  • The video board in the stadium had an awkward interviewer with Craig Littlepage and Teresa Sullivan on it between innings. Not awkward because of 'Page and T-Sully, but because it was just an awkward set of questions alternating back and forth between the two interviewees.
  • The gem of that interview, though, was when the announcer asked Sullivan to explain what a Wahoo was... only to immediately say they were out of time and cut away from the interview.
  • Somehow I managed to discuss the 1995 football win over Florida State with a Seminole fan at the game. To quote him: "no matter how many times I watched that play, he never got in the end zone." And then he asked me what a Wahoo was.
  • I also chatted with some very friendly Auburn fans. They were cheering for Vandy (SEC solidarity, I suppose) but they were impressed with our turnout. They too asked me what a Wahoo was.