The Virginia Cavaliers dropped the first game of their best-of-three title series against defending champion Vanderbilt, 5-1, Monday night in Omaha. It’s a case of déjà vu.
It happened a year ago when Vanderbilt was victorious in Game One and UVA bounced back to win Game Two. Four of the nine starters in the Cavaliers lineup played in last year’s championship series against Vandy, so Cavaliers coach Brian O’Connor knows the experience factor will play a role in keeping their hopes alive for their first baseball national championship.
“We have been in this situation before last year, certainly, in this championship series,” said O’Connor. “But we were just in this position going into Saturday against Florida. If you win, you get a chance to play on. If you don’t, your season is over.”
UVA responded with a 5-4 victory over Florida last Saturday. In Game One of the title series, starting pitcher Connor Jones, a sophomore from Chesapeake, was locked in a scoreless duel for five innings. But the Commodores broke through with a two-run rally in the sixth and added three more in the seventh.