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Vanderbilt takes a 1-0 lead over Virginia in the College World Series finals

Jun 24, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

Vanderbilt Celebrates AP

The College World Series finals began last night and, since those finals are the best of three, it could be all wrapped up tonight. If it is, Vanderbilt will have taken home its first national championship in a men’s sport. Any sport.

That’s because Vanderbilt won a barnburner over Virginia, 9-8. Not that it was easy. It started that way, with the Commodores coming back from being down 2-0 early by scoring nine runs against Virginia starter Nathan Kirby in the third. Virginia chiseled away, though, scoring three more in the bottom of the third, two in the fifth and one more in the bottom of the eighth. It could’ve been two in the eighth, but Vanderbilt reliever John Kilichowski managed to kick the ball on a comebacker that very easily could’ve made it through the infield, preventing the tying run from scoring. After an uneventful ninth, Vandy took the 1-0 series lead.

While it may just be one game, the first game has mattered a whole heck of a lot since the College World Series went to a best-of-three final in 2003. In that time, seven of the 11 finals have been two-game sweeps. Only twice in the 11 years of the three-game format has the team that lost the first game gone on to win it all.

Of course, Virginia already had to do something that rarely happens in order to win this thing, as no ACC team has won the College World Series since 1955. That, of course, is just a historical curiosity that has no bearing on what happens in 2014. Being down 1-0 in a three-game set, however, does make things tangibly and empirically harder.

Game two is tonight at 8PM Eastern. Game three, if necessary, is tomorrow night at the same time.

  1. historiophiliac - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Go, Vandy! I was gonna be super-mad if TX made it after we beat them in division championship play. It would be awesome if they took it then.

    • sportsdrenched - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      Who is this “we”? Oklahoma State?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        Go Pokes!

  2. jrocknstuff - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Kirby, after a great season, has had a couple rough starts in the tournament. Maryland lit him up as well in the Super Regional. Virginia was down 1-0 in that series as well. They can take solice in the fact that they got the bats going last night and have gotten great starts out of their 2nd and 3rd starters in the post-season. I don’t think this thing is over just yet.

  3. musketmaniac - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    who cares.

    • dcarroll73 - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      And yet you apparently read it, and you did comment? Very odd.

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