College World Series Finals 2014, Virginia vs. Vanderbilt: Cavaliers look to bounce back, extend series

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia was knocked down by a catastrophic third inning, and couldn't climb back up in Game 1. Can they stay on their feet and force a Game 3 on Tuesday night?

On one hand, Virginia has to be sick to its stomach that it handed out nine runs during a third inning meltdown in Game 1 of the College World Series Finals against Vanderbilt -- a game it lost, 9-8. If not for that half inning -- or hell, if they had just given up seven runs instead of nine -- the Cavaliers would probably be one win away from a national championship entering Game 2 on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Virginia has to be confident knowing that even with that nightmare frame, it only lost by one run and were clearly the better team for the other eight-and-a-half innings. After sinking into a 9-2 hole, the Cavaliers refused to quit, rallying for six unanswered runs. Twice in the bottom of the eighth they were inches from squeaking a ground ball through the middle and scoring the tying run.

Vanderbilt has to know that it was fortunate Monday. The Commodores may be one win away from a title, but if they continue to get outplayed like they did in Game 1, they could become just the third team since 2003 to win Game 1 of the Finals and lose the series.

Seven times in the last 11 years, the winner of the first game has gone on to win in two games.

Vandy will turn to ace pitcher Tyler Beede to seal the deal Tuesday night. The 14th overall pick in the MLB Draft earlier this month, Beede was originally pencilled in as the Game 1 starter, but was scratched for Walker Buehler roughly two hours before the first pitch. Despite the elite talent that accompanies being a first-rounder, Beede has struggled on the mound as of late -- and that's putting it mildly. He has allowed 10 runs over his last two tournament starts, and didn't make it out of the fifth inning in either.

Virginia is expected to counter with Brandon Waddell, who enters with a 1.86 ERA over three tournament starts. His last start came against TCU in the Cavs' second game in Omaha. Waddell gave up just one earned run off six hits over seven innings, and Virginia went on to win a walk-off in the 15th.

If Waddell can avoid catastrophe, the Cavs have a good chance to push the series to a third game.

How to watch Game 2

When: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Radio: Westwood One Sports
Online streaming: WatchESPN

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.