WILLIAMSBURG (WAVY) – With his team down 8-1 and only three outs from the end if the season, Josh Smith couldn’t help but get emotional running back to the dugout.
“I was an emotional wreck at that point,” said the senior outfielder, who thought not only his William and Mary career, but his baseball career was over. The Tribe, playing in game one of the CAA championship series, needed a miracle to keep their season going.
And they got it.
With a couple of RBI singles, an RBI double, a couple of bases-loaded hit-by-pitches, and a sacrifice fly, the Tribe tied the game at 8-8 to force extra innings.
The rest was history. Having to wait overnight because of a rain delay, William and Mary won game one in the 12th, forced a game two, and thanks to Smith’s go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tribe took the game, the title and a trip to the NCAA regionals 14-9.
“You can coach for many years and not be a part of something like that,” said William and Mary head coach Brian Murphy.
Now the task is taking down the defending national champion University of Virginia, when the team kicks off the Charlottesville regional at 11:00 am on Friday.
“While we feel good, it’s still UVA,” said Smith. Murphy, though, points out, “Sometimes good teams beat good teams.”