Virginia's Head Coach May Have Managed The 9th Inning Of Their Walk-Off Loss As Poorly As Any Coach In Baseball History

I would imagine Virginia baseball coach Brian O'Connor is going to have a tough time sleeping tonight.

The Cavaliers entered the ninth inning up 5-3 against Florida when O'Connor had Jake Berry stay in the game to try to close it out after pitching the eighth. Berry started the inning by giving up a homer to bring the Gators within one — fine, it happens. He then got one out before allowing Wyatt Langford to hit another moonshot to tie the game. At this point, you would think the Cavs should probably get somebody warm in a hurry.

But Berry was allowed to stay in the game for three more batters, all of whom reached base. So a new pitcher finally entered the game with the bases loaded and just one out, which was obviously not a recipe for success. Jay Woolfolk got the lone batter he faced to fly out, but it was plenty deep enough to score the winning run for Florida.

I don't know how on in the world Berry was left in for six batters when he clearly just didn't have it tonight. Even if you don't love any of your other options in the bullpen, you simply have to put somebody else in the game after the second homer. If you were ever wondering, "How many baserunners does a pitcher have to allow to get pulled in the ninth inning of a tie game after giving up a two-run lead?" Brian O'Connor's answer is five.

UVA will now have to find a way to win four straight games out of the losers' bracket to advance to the championship series. Tough scenes.