Throughout this season, whenever Josh Sborz was on the mound for the Virginia baseball team, Robbie Coman has been behind the plate. And Brian O'Connor stayed with that plan when Sborz took the hill at the College World Series.
O'Connor's faith in his backup catcher paid off Saturday afternoon. Coman's two-run single in the fourth inning put UVa ahead for good in their eventual 4-1 win over Ole Miss that put the Cavaliers in the championship round of the College World Series for the first time in program history.
"I'm so proud of Robbie," O'Connor said after Saturday's win. "His opportunities this year have been somewhat limited. He's caught Sborz all year, and caught here and there. And the kid rose up and caught a great game, and got a couple of key hits. That's why it's a team."
"That's just how we are," said first baseman Mike Papi. "One through nine, when coach puts the lineup together, everyone can do it. And we have extreme faith in the lineup, and we trust everyone to get the job done."
Saturday was Coman's 26th start of the season, and his 20th behind the plate. Coman finished 2-for-4 in Saturday's game, raising his average to .280 on the season.
"I mean, it's unbelievable. I couldn't ask for anything else," Coman said. "Coach giving me this opportunity to go out here and play on this stage, with this magnitude, is just something really special. And I'm glad that I could perform for my team, and help us get a victory."
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