In & around SEC baseball

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A season ago, Vanderbilt defeated Virginia in the NCAA College World Series to capture the first baseball national championship in school history. Now, the Commodores and Cavaliers are on track to face each other again for the national title in Omaha.

Virginia beat both Arkansas and Florida to reach the semifinals of the CWS and have two chances to beat Florida to make the final series.

Vanderbilt needed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win its opening game against Cal State-Fullerton, and the Commodores required another late home run to edge Texas Christian. Vanderbilt now has two games in which to beat LSU to make the championship series.

Entering the tournament, LSU and Florida were the favorites to win it all. LSU was the best team in college baseball throughout most of the season, but the Tigers’ bats went cold in a blowout loss to TCU in the opening round. LSU responded by eliminating Cal State-Fullerton, 5-3.

Florida dominated Miami in the opening round, 15-3, and it looked as if the Gators were ready to roll through the tournament. However, Virginia shut down the Gators’ offense en route to a 1-0 victory. Florida was forced to play Miami again in an elimination game, and the Gators once again destroyed the Hurricanes, knocking them off by a score of 10-2.

Arkansas lost its opening game to Virginia and had to defeat Miami in the loser’s bracket in order to keep its season alive. In the bottom of ninth in a 3-3 game, however, Miami’s Jacob Heyward hit a walk-off single to eliminate the Razorbacks. Despite a disappointing finish to the season, the Hogs still had an excellent year at 40-25.


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