Friday, June 5, 2009

Matt F#$%ing Smith

Holy hell what a baseball game this afternoon. Errors, poor bunts, bloody noses, baserunning blunders... you name it and the Rebels did it and still walked off with an unbelievable win in Game 1 of the Oxford Super Regional.

Matt Smith went from near goat in the top half of the 12th to unquestioned hero in the bottom half. His fielding error was a distant memory as soon as the loudest PING of the day sounded in a jam-packed OUS. One pitch. One swing. Ball game.

The question now is - Can the Rebels finish it off? They've been in this situation before - up 1-0 in an Oxford Super Regional - and have failed to advance both times. Can they finally put it all together this time?

Like I said earlier today, I think this may just be the Rebels' year to make it to Omaha. This isn't the most talented Rebel team in recent memory, but there's not been a scrappier, never-say-die team to wear the Red and Blue. They easily could've folded up shop several times today with the miscues and UVA's pitching, but they didn't. And they won't tomorrow.

While I doubt we see 9 innings out of Pomeranz tomorrow, we will see a performance where he keeps the Rebels in the game for as long as he's out there, probably 6-7 innings. It'll be up to the Rebels to generate some offense, tighten up the defense, and get their damn bunts down in key situations.

Virginia may be down, but they're not out. They've rallied around 1-run losses all season and they aren't going to roll over now. But if the Rebels get a typical Pom start and reach double digit hits for the 20th time in 21 games tomorrow, Rosenblatt Stadium and the fine people of Omaha won't know what hit 'em next weekend.

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