In & around SEC baseball

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The University of Virginia defeated Vanderbilt, 4-2, in the finals of the College World Series on Wednesday (June 24) for the first baseball national championship in school history. 

The Cavaliers avenged last season’s loss to the Commodores in the finals.

Despite reaching the championship series last year, this version of the Cavaliers had limited expectations entering this season. 

Vanderbilt barely made the NCAA Tournament, but since postseason play began, they have played better than anyone. The Cavs finished the season 44-24. The title was the first for the ACC in six decades.

While Vanderbilt was one of the best teams in the country for most of the season, the Commodores still weren’t as talented as last year’s championship squad. However, star shortstop Dansby Swanson – who was the first pick in the MLB draft – led the Commodores back to Omaha for a chance to re-peat as national champions.

Throughout the College World Series, Vanderbilt mimicked the success it had a season ago. 

Even when the bats weren’t hot, Vandy’s pitching kept winning games for them. After they defeated Virginia in the first game, it looked as if another national title was in the Commodores’ grasp. Unfortunately for the Nashville squad, Virginia’s pitching and hitting were both slightly better in the next two games.

Despite not repeating as champions, Vanderbilt’s last two seasons were the best in school history. Coach Tim Corbin has led the Commodores to the top of the SEC, and the team will be solid next season. Vanderbilt finished the season 51-21.

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