Stifled by a pitcher-friendly park and power arms on both rosters, the Virginia Cavaliers and Texas Christian Horned Frogs found themselves locked up in a 2-2 game late into the night.
As the extra innings wore on, neither team could mount much of a rally. Pitchers were efficient and the defense was spectacular, especially in center field. The Cavaliers finally got two quality swings in the bottom of the 15th inning, a ground rule double and a sacrifice fly, and walked off just before midnight with a 3-2 victory.
Virginia catcher Nate Irving absolutely leaned into one to start off the bottom of the 15th inning. On a night that it seemed impossible that any shot to the outfield would result in anything other than a harmless out, Irving drove one that bounced on the warning track and over the fence for the double.
After a sacrifice bunt advanced the pinch runner to third base, shortstop Daniel Pinero delivered a deep sacrifice fly to center field to steal the win for the Cavaliers despite the fact that their offense was lifeless for much of the night, especially in the extra frames.
Both teams did their damage early, with the last run before extra innings coming in the fifth inning for the Cavaliers. On TCU’s side of things, they scored both of their runs with a rally all the way back in the second inning before being shut out for the rest of the night.
There aren’t enough laudatory remarks to go around for the pitchers on both sides, as each team had a seemingly bottomless pool of talented, powerful pitchers to call upon. With the hard-earned victory, Virginia earns that coveted 2-0 record: 30 of the last 33 CWS champions started off 2-0.
TCU will now take on Ole Miss on Thursday night in an elimination game.