PITCHING PLANS: Virginia will start Nathan Kirby (9-2, 1.70 ERA) in Game 1 against either Tyler Beede (8-7, 3.80) or Walker Buehler (12-2, 2.27).
Kirby allowed one hit in seven innings of the Cavs’ CWS opener against Mississippi but didn’t get the decision in the 2-1 win. Beede, the 14th overall draft pick by the Giants, has had control problems and allowed four runs in 3 2-3 innings of his start against UC Irvine last Monday. Buehler came on and pitched 5 1-3 innings of no-hit relief in Vandy’s 6-4 win.
FIRST TIME MEETING: Virginia and Vanderbilt will be meeting in baseball for the first time. The Cavaliers are trying to win the ACC’s first national title in the sport since Wake Forest in 1955. Vanderbilt is the seventh straight SEC team to make it to the finals.
REYNOLDS RAPPING BALL: Vandy’s Bryan Reynolds is hitting .431 in the postseason and .428 in the CWS. The freshman has hit safely in 17 of his past 18 games.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Vanderbilt is averaging 3.75 runs in its four CWS games, well above the combined average of 2.5 runs for the other seven teams that came to Omaha.
CAMPBELL ANSWERS CALL: Tyler Campbell is 3 for 8 since entering the lineup in place of third baseman Xavier Turner, who was declared ineligible by the NCAA on Friday for a rules violation. Campbell beat out an infield grounder with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday for the 4-3 win over Texas that sent Vandy to the finals.