Monday, June 1, 2009

Most Improbable Comeback

It's been awhile, so I need to give a brief update on how the WKU baseball team has done. They won a share of the conference regular season title, but lost in the conference tourney semifinals. So we crossed our fingers and hoped for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, and we got it. We got sent to the Oxford Regional, with Ole Miss, a powerhouse, as the host. It's double elimination, and we played the #2 seed Missouri in the first game. They chose not to use their All-American pitcher, and we crushed them. Ole Miss beat Monmouth, so we ended up facing Ole Miss in a winner's bracket game. We made a late push, but they won 7-4. So that left WKU in a tough spot. We had to play Missouri again, who knocked Monmouth out of the tournament with a blowout win. We crushed Missouri on Sunday morning, then had to turn right around and play Ole Miss an hour after that game finished. Ole Miss is #8 in the country and is on the short list of schools with the best home field advantage. Their fans come in the thousands and are smart baseball people. Well, Ole Miss jumped all over us. They got up 7-1, and then 9-3 going into the 8th inning. And to make things worse, they brought in their closer in the 8th, who happens to be the best closer in America.

And then magic. Our 7th place hitter ledoff with a single, and then our 8th place hitter with a walk, and then a single by our 9 hole made it 9-4. A few singles later and it was 9-6 with our star slugger coming up. Well, Wade crushed a 3-run homerun to tie the game. At this point I am going nuts. It's tied at 9 going into the bottom of the 8th. My buddy Chadcock came into pitch and worked out of a jam but held Ole Miss scoreless. So we go top 9, and our 7th place hitter leads off the inning with a homerun to give us a 10-9 lead. And at this point, I'm freaking out. In the bottom of the 9th, we bring in Garrie to pitch. Garrie had faced Ole Miss 3 times in his career and never gotten an out. But Garrie shut them down, completing the best comeback and biggest win in WKU history.

So tonight is the Oxford Regional Championship game. Every game from here on out is the biggest in school history for us. The winner will move on to the Super Regionals for a 3-game series against Virginia, with the winner going to the College World Series. Both Ole Miss and WKU have depleted pitching staffs, but WKU does have all the momentum going back into tonight. My good friend Matt Ridings will get the start at 8 pm tonight. More updates to follow. GO TOPS!!!!

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