Cavaliers Drop Wild CWS Finals Opener

The Virginia baseball team gave up nine runs in the third inning and could not recover, falling to Vanderbilt 9-8 in the first game of the College World Series finals at TD Ameritrade Park. The nine runs are the most that the Cavaliers have given up in a game all season.

UVa struck first in the bottom of the first inning. With two runners on, Derek Fisher hit a single to right center, bringing home Joe McCarthy and Branden Cogswell and giving the 'Hoos a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore pitcher Nathan Kirby started the game strong, striking out four of the first seven batters he faced. Kirby then walked five batters and gave up hits to two more in the third, as Vanderbilt took a 5-2 lead. After Whit Mayberry took the mound in relief, Tyler Campbell hit a bases-loaded double to clear the bases and push the lead to 9-2.

The Cavaliers responded with three runs in their half of the third inning. Kenny Towns drove in McCarthy with a single to center, cutting the lead to 9-3. Later, Brandon Downes hit a 2-RBI single through the left side, bringing UVa within four runs.

In the bottom of the fifth, UVa added two more runs. After a triple by Downes, Nate Irving doubled to bring him home. Irving later scored on an RBI-single by Daniel Pinero, cutting the Vanderbilt lead to 9-7.

With two on in the bottom of the eighth, McCarthy grounded out to short, but Cogswell scored from third to pull the Cavaliers within one. That was as close as they would get, as Vanderbilt's Adam Ravenelle gave up no hits and no runs in the bottom of the ninth.

UVa reliever Whit Mayberry gave up three hits and one run in 3.1 innings. Austin Young closed out the game on the mound, giving up one hit and no runs in 3.1 innings.

With the win, Vanderbilt takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The Cavaliers and Commodores meet in game 2 at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

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