Did Virginia blow a 4-0 lead in the Top of the 8th last night? Yes. Do we need to panic? No.
Look, my heart hurts just like yours. I was nauseated to the point where I could not sleep after the game. But, alas, I found my slumber and woke refreshed with clearer perspective.
Mississippi State is an amazing offense – they have been all year. Going into the game, it was unrealistic to think that UVA would keep them off the board. That should not have changed just because Griff McGarry had a no-hit bid going into the 8th (which had he pulled it off it would have been the first at the CWS since 1960). He finally made a mistake and left a fastball up, which Mississippi State took advantage of with a 2-run bomb (4-2). McGarry was pulled and UVA threw out a few bullpen pitchers, including CWS darling Stephen Schoch. With all momentum on State’s side they hit another bomb in the 8th, this time a 3-runner off of Schoch (5-4). Add in a misplayed ball in center that added another for State (6-4) and UVA enters the Bottom of the 8th down 2. Chris Newell hit a solo making it 6-5 bad guys but that was all she wrote as UVA would lose by the same tally.
Should McGarry have been pulled sooner? Maybe. Did the Mississippi State rally rattle the Hoos, giving us fans shades of the team we saw in the beginning of the year? Definitely. But the team battled and went down swinging, literally. And if this Cinderella run has shown us anything, it’s that with their backs against the wall, UVA has everyone right where they want them.