On Monday, things at the CWS changed with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
The same thing happened on Tuesday.
Through the first five and a half innings, Vanderbilt and Virginia had failed to score a run as both starting pitchers were as sharp as can be.
After the first two Virginia batters in the bottom half of the sixth inning were retired, Pavin Smith singled to left. Then Kevin Doherty singled off the second base bag.
UVA loaded the bases thanks to first baseman Zander Wiel mishandling a bouncer hit to him, which brought up Ernie Clement.
That single through the left side gave the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead. They would make it 3-0 as Thomas Woodruff dropped his third hit of the night into centerfield, scoring Joe McCarthy and Doherty.
All three of those runs charged to Vanderbilt starter Phillip Pfeifer were unearned, as Virginia really took advantage of that error by Wiel. Ben Bowden would come in and get a strikeout to end the inning.
Woodruff was only in the lineup because Virginia was forced to start Adam Haseley, who played center field on Monday. Woodruff, a senior, had just 67 career at bats heading into Tuesday night’s game. But he made the most out of getting that start in right field, going 3-for-4 at the plate.
The UVA players and fans have to thank Haseley for leading this team to a deciding game on Wednesday though. He had not started a game on the mound in a month, which was against NC State in the ACC Tournament. Haseley went 4 2/3 innings in that game, which was his longest appearance of the season.
Haseley lasted 5+ innings, surrendering just four hits and three walks. He then handed the ball off to Josh Sborz in the sixth, and Sborz sealed the deal with four shutout innings of his own. He’s now gone 27 innings without allowing a run.
The College World Series will be decided Wednesday night at 8 PM ET on ESPN. This is just like last year’s CWS Final, when Vanderbilt won Game One and Virginia took the second game. The Commodores went on to win the third game last year. Will they do it again?
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports