Even as Virginia sat in a 2-1 sixth-inning hole on Tuesday, 12 outs from having to watching Vanderbilt celebrate a national championship, you had a sense that they were going to push this series to the brink. Six runs and four masterful innings from Brandon Waddell later, and they had rallied to a 7-2 win. We will have a Game 3 in the College World Series finals.
Through two games, Virginia has outhit Vanderbilt 28-11, and if you throw out the flukey top of the third from Game 1, they've outscored the Commodores 15-2. But Vanderbilt has history on their side -- only twice in the past 11 years has a team won the opening game of the finals and gone on to lose the series.
Still, all bets are off in a decisive game like this.
Neither coach would commit to a Game 3 starter in the postgame press conference on Tuesday, but Vandy's Tim Corbin said he was leaning toward Carson Fulmer and Virginia's Tim Corbin indicated it would be Josh Sborz.
Sborz, who carries a 6-4 record and a 2.84 ERA, last saw action against Ole Miss last Saturday. Against one of the best offenses in the country, he allowed four hits and just one run over five innings of work. Neither Artie Lewicki or shutdown closer and first-round MLB draft selection Nick Howard have pitched this week and will be available out of the pen.
Vanderbilt should have plenty of firepower out of its own bullpen. Corbin stated Tuesday night it would be an all hands on deck approach and that only Tyler Beede, his starter from Game 2, would be unavailable. Like Sborz, Fulmer is on only three days rest, having thrown 90 pitches in an elimination win over Texas last Saturday.
There will be no holding back on Wednesday night, though. One way or another, it is both team's final game of the season.
Here's how you can watch it: