ESPN analysts break down Virginia, Rebels’ first CWS foe

It was good to get back home Tuesday evening, fix the mower and mow the back yard before getting back on the road tomorrow.

Still have half a yard to go this morning before heading to Oxford for player interviews. Will have notes and video from Swayze Field on the blog in the afternoon.

In the meantime …
Here’s what ESPN commentators Kyle Peterson and Aaron Boone had to say about Virginia, who Ole Miss will meet Sunday night in the CWS opener for both teams.

There’s recent postseason history between Ole Miss and Virginia, and little of it is good for the Rebels, who are 1-3 in four games against the Cavs. After defeating Virginia the first game of the Oxford Super Regional 4-3 in 12 innings Ole Miss lost 4-3 in Game 2 and 5-1 in Game 3.

After defeating St. John’s 10-5 in the Charlottesville Regional opener in 2010, the Rebels lost 13-7 to Virginia in that all-important Game 2 of a regional. Ole Miss fell behind 3-0 after two innings, tied the game with three runs in the top of the third only to give up four in the bottom of the third.

Peterson: I think it’s tough to compare, but I would say this. I think that when you’re preseason No. 1 in a lot of polls, and you then go all the way through the season with a target on your back and end up in Omaha; and do it in a way where you lose the opener to a Maryland club that went down and did what nobody had done since the 70s, and that’s win a regional in Columbia, that’s pretty good in and of itself.

I think the other thing is they are so balanced. That’s what makes it tough. I mean, from the left side, from the right side, power from different guys. Guys that have been around a while and a guy like [Daniel] Pinero who hasn’t, but yet you don’t see a lot of 6‑5 shortstops that can play the game, and he really can play the game.

Arms‑wise, you just kind of assume that [Head Coach] Brian [O’Connor] is going to have arms all the time, but I think what separates this team is that offensively there’s some thump, and they can run around a little bit and they are very, very athletic. And it was funny, that’s what everybody was talking about at the beginning of the year is how great Virginia’s offense was going to be. But then you look up at the end of the year, and it’s one of the best pitching staffs in the country. Offense is still there. But the pitching staff has just been that good and obviously you get a guy like [Nathan] Kirby to come in that quick and do what he did, it’s a huge reason why.

Boone: Virginia’s talent to me stands out, and obviously, that doesn’t necessarily always mean that’s the team that wins or that’s the team that’s going to get rolling and do this thing. But when I look at the teams, the little I’ve seen of each team, Virginia physically jumps out to me more than any other team.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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