Virginia rises to occasion to force a deciding game
OMAHA — Big performances from a couple of unlikely sources and another shutdown relief performance from an old reliable allowed Virginia to force a winner- take- all game in the College World Series.
Surprise starter Adam Haseley and Josh Sborz combined on the shutout, senior utility man Thomas Woodruff drove in two runs, and the Cavaliers defeated Vanderbilt, 3- 0, on Tuesday night.
For the second year in a row, these two teams will go the distance in the best- ofthree finals. Vanderbilt ( 5120) will be playing for a second consecutive national title Wednesday. Virginia ( 43- 24) will be looking for its first.
“Adam Haseley rose to the occasion on the mound and just gave us a high- quality start,” Cavaliers Coach Brian O’Connor said. “Josh Sborz did what he’s been doing this entire tournament, grinding out the back half of the game. And this guy here [ Woodruff], I don’t know when the last time he started a game, but certainly he put some great swings on the baseball and played some great right field. Just a total team effort.”
Woodruff started for the f irst time since May 19 because Joe McCarthy had to move to center to take the usual spot of Haseley, who was on the mound for the first time since May 23.
O’Connor called on the freshman because he’s short of starting pitching depth.
Haseley worked into the sixth inning for his longest outing and turned over a scoreless game to Sborz ( 7- 2). Haseley gave up four singles, walked three and struck out one during his 71pitch outing.
Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi was named winner of USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award as the college player of the year. Benintendi batted .376 and led the nation with 20 home runs.
VANDERBILT second baseman Nolan Rodgers ( 18) collides with shortstop Dansby Swanson.