Jun 25, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; General view of TD Ameritrade Park during the first inning in game 2 of the College World Series finals between the UCLA Bruins and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Husky Baseball season came to an end on Monday afternoon in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 10 innings to Ole Miss in the Oxford Regional Championship game at Swayze Field. The 41 wins was the best season in 11 years for Washington baseball and got the attention of many nationwide.
The most valuable player of the Oxford Regional Sikes Orvis for the Rebels won this game with a two-out triple to right field that got away from right-fielder Kyle London, and the Huskies just could not scratch out one last hit to force the game into the 11th inning,
The win for Ole Miss sends them to the Lafayette Super Regional where they will take on the number six national seed Louisiana-Lafayette in a best two out of three series for the right to go to Omaha and the College World Series.
Winning any game on the road in a NCAA Regional is not easy and to able pitch well even in defeat. For example, Alex Nesbitt in relief battled hard for four innings which was twice as long as he had ever pitched. Will Ballowe started the game and grinded out 4.2 innings and kept the Huskies in the game.
This willingness to do whatever it took to win epitomized this 2014 Washington team. This team was a constant underdog that had to scratch and claw for everything they got. If this team can develop a little more starting pitching depth to be at least four deep in 2015 they will be a threat to win the Pac-12 and host a regional.
Moving forward the next challenge for this Husky baseball program is the MLB Draft at the end of the week. All three weekend starters Jared Fisher, Tyler Davis, and Jeff Brigham are all draft eligible. If Washington can survive the draft with at least one or two of these guys returning for the 2015 season it would only benefit the Huskies even more.
It would benefit Washington in that you would have experience back for weekend series and you would have battle tested pitching for the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The path that this Husky baseball program is on is eerily similar to the path the University of Virginia has taken with their baseball program. The new Husky Ballpark opening this season is the springboard for Washington as they have a facility now just like Virginia does that can compete with anyone in the nation.
They also play a similar style of baseball with a commitment to pitching, great defense, and being fundamentally sound. It is this combination that will win plenty of games in future NCAA Baseball tournaments.