Virginia evens series, forces third game of CWS finals


Quotes | camera.gifVUcast: Gearing Up For Game 3 | camera.gifHighlights | camera.gifVU Press Conference | Notes

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin, like everyone else not in the Virginia dugout, was surprised when the Cavaliers sent Adam Haseley to the mound for Game 2 of the College World Series finals.

And like everyone else, Corbin was impressed and maybe a little shocked after the freshman who usually plays center field pitched five shutout innings Tuesday night.

Haseley and Josh Sborz combined on a 3-0 shutout that forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Haseley was a bit of a mystery to Corbin and his assistants.

“We had scouting reports on him. He had 10 appearances, four starts. We didn’t know a whole lot about him,” Corbin said. “We really didn’t do much against him. He did a nice job of slowing us down. Again, you just have to give a kid like that credit, especially being on the mound for the first time” in the CWS.

The Commodores had chances to break through but were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position against Haseley and Sborz. They lost for the first time in 10 NCAA Tournament games and were shutout for only the second time this season.

“You just have to give Haseley and Sborz a lot of credit, because I thought they did a good job of commanding the ball,” Corbin said. “And then their defense did a good job. We had some hard-hit balls at certain times that were just caught. So that happens.”

For the second year in a row, these two teams will go the distance in the best-of-three finals. Vanderbilt (51-20) will be playing for a second straight national title on 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.”

Virginia also got a big game from senior utility man Thomas Woodruff, who drove in two runs in his first start since May 19. He played right field 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, and he had to hold back Brandon Waddell for a possible Game 3, which now will happen.

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 71-pitch outing.

“I think it was a different kind of nerves than a regular game when I’m playing in the field,” Haseley said. “Playing some games here before in the field, being out there and having playing time, did help.”


Sborz, who picked up his third career win in the CWS, hasn’t allowed an earned run in 27 consecutive innings. He was tested Tuesday, with Vanderbilt getting its leadoff batter on base in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth innings.

The ninth was especially tense for Sborz after Bryan Reynolds singled and Will Toffey walked. But Sborz struck out Jeren Kendall, got Karl Ellison to fly out and struck out Nolan Rogers to end the game.

“The whole game they just battled and they were able to get my pitch count up,” said Sborz, who won for the third time in this CWS. “I was trying to get out of it. If they scored, I wasn’t going to get upset. I wanted to get this game over with and save the bullpen as much as possible.”

Virginia broke through against Vandy starter Phil Pfeifer (6-5) for three unearned runs in the sixth after he had retired the first two batters.

Kevin Doherty got on board after his grounder up the middle bounced off second base and McCarthy reached when first baseman Zander Wiel couldn’t handle his hot smash. Ernie Clement followed with an RBI single into left, and Woodruff drove a ball into center for two more runs.

Vanderbilt is trying to become the seventh school to win back-to-back national titles and the third to do it in the last 10 years. Virginia, with a win Wednesday, would be the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to win the baseball national championship since Wake Forest in 1955.