The University of Virginia Cavaliers, after a strange and disappointing regular season, have advanced to the NCAA College World Series. Improbably. Unexpectedly. Unbelievably.
They swept the University of Maryland Terrapins in the Super Regionals with wins on Friday and Saturday.
And, I wasn’t ready for the dog pile.
Last year, I was.
See … here’s 2014 …
The UVa Cavaliers’ dog pile after defeating Maryland in the Super Regionals and advanced to the College World Series in 2014.
This year, once again parked in Section H of left field with all the other displaced season-ticket holders, I wasn’t ready.
You know that auto-focus “idiot button” on your camera? Not idiot proof.
But, really, can you blame me?
Maryland had just come off of a regional series where it knocked off UCLA, the number 1 team in the country. So, no slouch those Terps.
The Hoos took Game 1, beating Maryland on Friday night 5-3.
But, on Saturday, Maryland took a comfy 4-2 lead into the 9th.
All they had to do was breeze through the bottom of the 9th with the same ease they had breezed through every inning since the 1st. The Terps would tie up the series, leaving a deciding game on Sunday.
Then the “breezing” stopped. Lead off walk. Single. Walk. (Pitching Change). Walk. (Run Scores.)
It’s 4-3, no outs. But, to take my camera out at this point … to presume a miracle … is to jinx things. And, I’m no jinxer.
The Hoo’s #9 batter, scrappy freshman Ernie Clement – 1-for-6 over the two games – steps up.
And, this happened.
Ernie! (And, there’s your dog pile!)
Here’s the Game 1 Recap.
Here’s the Game 2 Recap.
The University of Virginia advances to the College World Series.
I finally got my camera out and focused.
Look … I’m on ESPN!
Is this how you take a selfie?
Congratulations, University of Virginia Cavaliers. Hoo’s going back to Omaha? You are!
Brandon Waddell, Game 2 starter, leads the post-game celebration.
That’s pitcher Connor Jones, winner of Game 1, surveying the Davenport Field celebration.
Ernie Clement’s batting helmet might still be out there.
The College World Series begins Saturday, June 13, 2015.