One word comes to my mind when I think this year’s Virginia Cavalier baseball team – RESILIENT. Shortly after the 1st inning ended yesterday in the series deciding UVA/Vanderbilt game I tweeted this out.
It is early, but that first inning feels like it decided the game… #CWS2015
— Jeff or Jeffrey Fann (@TalkinACCSports) June 25, 2015
The Cavaliers loaded the bases in the first inning and couldn’t get a run across. Brandon Waddell, the Cavaliers most reliable starting pitcher of the post-season looked shaky early. Vanderbilt with all their arms, and draft picks were finally going to put away those gritty Cavaliers.
I should have known better. While I’m not a college baseball expert, I had been following college baseball pretty closely since the conference tournaments started. I kept on a eye on the season as whole, and I knew Virginia started the season in the top 5 and got racked by injuries. At one point in the season the Cavaliers were 10-14 in the ACC, were at risk of missing the ACC tournament. They barely got in the NCAA tournament, and despite starting to get healthy didn’t look like they were a threat to win it all.
It was a remarkable run though from California, back home to Virginia to face tricky Maryland, then a side of the CWS bracket that had what I thought was the best team in the tourney in Florida. Then having to win 2 games against the heavily favored Vanderbilt Commodores, the Cavaliers pulled out the improbable title.
Head coach Brian O’Conner did a masterful job managing a thin roster of pitchers. Josh Sborz was brilliant in relief the whole tournament, and the gritty tough as nails Virginia team wouldn’t be denied.
Let a couple of Virginia blogs take you through the Cavaliers title – StreakingtheLawn has their writeup on the title, and UnivserityBall shares their feelings championship.
Not only did the 2015 Cavaliers bring Virginia their first baseball title, they also were the first ACC team since 1955 to win a college baseball title. More than 40 ACC teams had tried and failed to win a NCAA title since Wake Forest did it. It was an astonishing streak considering the quality of ACC baseball. Virginia got to be that team that stopped streak.
Congratulations to the Virginia baseball team and their fans!