Brandon Waddell threw a complete game and the Virginia baseball team beat Vanderbilt 7-2 on Tuesday night in Omaha. With the win, UVa forces a decisive game three in the best-of-three College World Series finals.
The Cavaliers and Commodores will meet at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, with the winner taking home the national title.
"We have a lot of emotion now," head coach Brian O'Connor said after the game. "It's the last game of the year. You're playing for everything. You're playing for the opportunity to hoist that trophy and win a national championship. But I'll be surprised if our team doesn't come out with the same kind of attitude tomorrow night."
UVa out-hit Vanderbilt 13-5 in the win on Tuesday night. Kenny Towns went 3-for-5 at the plate and drove in two runs, while Joe McCarthy finished 3-for-5 in the game as well. Brandon Downes and Branden Cogswell each added two hits in the win.
Brandon Waddell pitched a complete game on the mound for UVa, striking out five while giving up five hits and two runs.
"Waddell was phenomenal tonight," said junior first baseman Mike Papi. "He mixed and matched his pitches. He hit the corners. It was awesome. And right after it was finished, I caught the last out and he was like, 'Give me that ball.' And I was extremely proud to give it to him. He did a great job for us tonight, and we're looking forward to tomorrow."
"It's awesome," added Waddell. "Not even from the standpoint of it gets the job done. But just for these guys who are with me, my teammates. We've been through so much. Through the fall, through the spring, all the hard work put in. It's really cool to come out here and execute for those guys."
Vanderbilt broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth when John Norwood hit an RBI double to score Zander Wiel, giving Vanderbilt a 2-1 lead.
The Commodores led until the top of the sixth, when UVa struck for three runs on four hits. Derek Fisher scored Papi on a groundout to second base to tie the game, 2-2. After Towns singled to left to load the bases, junior designated hitter John La Prise grounded out to bring home Fisher. Downes then sent a triple to center, scoring Towns for a 4-2 lead.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning, Towns singled through the left side of the infield to drive in two more runs, giving Virginia a 6-2 lead at the stretch. The 'Hoos added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a pair of hits, with McCarthy crossing the plate on a two-out RBI single up the middle by La Prise.
The Cavaliers are now 3-0 in elimination games in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.