Fall Report: Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia’s fall world series ended like its spring season ended: with a raucous on-field celebration. But this time, only half the Cavaliers got to participate.
In the final game of the Orange and Blue World Series last week, the Blue team carried a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but the Orange team literally refused to go down quietly — its rowdy dugout tried whatever it could to rattle sophomore righthander Tommy Doyle, who was in for the save. It made for a surprisingly intense finish to a fall intrasquad game.
After two singles and a double, Kevin Doherty came to the plate with two outs and two on, his team down by a run. Doherty sliced a line drive that dropped in right field for a walk-off, two-run single, and his teammates sprinted out of their dugout and mobbed him between second and third base. It didn’t quite match the dogpile after the Cavs won their first College World Series in June, but it was a jubilant celebration nonetheless. And that’s exactly how UVa. coach Brian O’Connor wanted it.
“It was really great to see the competitiveness that tonight had, and really the entire series and our whole fall,” O’Connor said after the game. “We have quite a few new players, young players — the most we’ve ever had, quite frankly. We needed to create an environment all fall that was very competitive, and I think we accomplished that. Today was the last day, and it came right down to the end. I love to see the spirit, and the excitement and celebration with the Orange team winning it. So I think we got out of the fall exactly what we wanted to get out of it — that’s to not have guys be complacent, for them to continue to develop and work hard, and see what we’ve got with these rookies.”
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