Tyler Wilson will share his CWS experience with this blog on VirginiaSports.com. Don’t forget to check back to view blog entries, pictures and video from Virginia’s trip to Omaha.
June 25, 2011
• What a wonderful reception we came home to at Davenport Field today – here is a quick video blog!
June 24, 2011
• Here is one last photo gallery from Omaha.
• I was blessed to win the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for baseball. I was presented the honor before tonight’s game. Here is a video blog where I talk about how honored I am to win this award.
June 23, 2011
• 10:25 p.m. – Here is a photo gallery from tonight. Click here to view.
• 9:50 p.m. – Go ‘Hoos! Great win tonight by the Cavaliers. Vince Briedis from media relations interviewed me before I went into the postgame press conference. You can view that video here.
— Kenny Swab talks here about his single that ended up being a three-base error. Watch the video here.
• 8 a.m. – I’m back! Sorry it took a little bit to get back on here guys but, needless to say, it’s been a busy couple of days. After the South Carolina game, there are some footnotes that need to be addressed. First, it is imperative to reference our place of fine dining; The Drover stayed open extra late for our business and boy they did not disappoint. Omaha’s famous Whiskey Filet satisfied our insatiable hunger and sent us on our way debating how there could possibly be a better meal in the world.
On another note, during the hour rain delay before the South Carolina game, the outfield crowd enjoyed volleying a barrage of beach balls back and forth. The teams took the level of competition outside of baseball and into the genre of creating ball retrieval tactics. Each squad took turns generating an original method to exit the dugout and return the overboard balls back into the stands, ranging from the Mighty Ducks “flying-V” to a cavalry of knights sent to the rescue. The crowd went wild. And to top it all off, just prior to our return to preparing for the game, we discovered Adam Sandler’s right hand man, Peter Dante (supporting actor in The Waterboy, Big Daddy, etc.) sitting directly behind our dugout. We tried to impress him with our interpretations of his characters, but he outdid us as he rattled off re-enactments that had us keeled over in laughter. The entertainment was priceless.
We had a great practice yesterday afternoon at Coach O’Connor’s alma mater, Creighton, under an overcast sky and surprisingly chilled air. The weather thus far here in Omaha has been less than perfect, namely a quasi-apocalyptic tornado watch that forced every fan to evacuate TD Ameritrade and even forced parents out of their hotels into safer quarters. Although this deluxe baseball paradise has been missing the one metaphorical weather “app,” it seems as though the clouds will clear and the sun return for the remainder of our time here.
As the weather clears, we’re all prepared for the next step. No matter what has happened the past few games, our focus is on the game awaiting us. Thanks for following! Go ‘Hoos!
June 22, 2011
• We practiced today Creighton – watch my short video blog.
• Jeff White from VirginiaSports.com talked to me briefly after practice – here I am answering one of his questions.
June 21, 2011
• Here are some photos from our game against South Carolina
June 20, 2011
• Hey if you want to check out a really cool photo of the ballpark, take a look at this one shot by the local newspaper using some pretty cool technology.
• Here are some photos of our practice at Creighton
• 5:15 p.m. – (UPDATED) I spoke with Jay James tonight on his radio show, the Best Seat in the House, live on WINA 1070 AM. Here is quick video blog while I was on hold waiting to talk with Jay.
– Here is a sneak peak at the first two questions I answered. Check out WINA’s Podcast of the entire interview.
• 9 a.m. – After a fulfilling and excitement filled day at TD Ameritrade Park, Game One is in the books. You can read all over national headlines at just how dominant Danny Hultzen proved to be, yet again yesterday. Although our ace did everything he could to put us out on top alongside John Hicks’ and Keith Werman’s productive offensive outputs, the unsung hero today in my opinion was Johnny Barr. Not to turn this blog into a recap of the game which you all saw on TV (hopefully), but I think JB provided a tremendous spark. He was perfect at the plate along with providing a crucial sacrifice, but my favorite thing about Johnny is his hustle, a quality that was epitomized when he beat out a fielder’s choice at second base. Though it may not have led to a run, that type of desire and “never give up” mentality shows why our team has been so successful this year. After it was all said and done, we fortunately walked away with a hard fought 4-1 win over the recently re-energized and extremely competitive Cal Golden Bears.
With media waiting after the game, a few us were held over in a curtained off “holding cell” before the interrogation began. Plenty of familiar faces along with some new cross-country writers peppered the gang from different angles about our interpretations of the game. Afterwards, we filed into a van to rendezvous with our teammates back at the hotel and make a game plan for tomorrow; a plan that consists of a few team meals sandwiched around another quality practice. At dinner last night, everybody was closely watching the Texas A&M versus South Carolina game, anxious to know who our next opponent would be. Fate would decide the reigning National Champions to be our next challenge.
We’re all very excited for the coming days and are enjoying every second of this priceless experience. Thanks to everybody following along! Keep up the unmatched support! Go ‘Hoos!
June 19, 2011
• Photos from our fourth day in Omaha.
• ‘Hoos Win!!! Here is a video blog I recorded just before going into the postgame press conference.
June 18, 2011
• Photos from our third day in Omaha.
• The team did a service project today. Here is the link to a short video blog.
• Wow. A lot to be said reflecting back on our first couple days in the college baseball homeland. The yesterday started off with our NCAA allotted practice in TD Ameritrade Park consisting of batting practice and pitcher’s skill work. Amongst screaming fans hounding us for foul balls and grass as plush as carpet, our team took one more step towards our opening game. Although we had an awesome practice in an incomparable environment, one of the most distracting things was deciphering whether or not the field was air-conditioned! Crazy, I know. Rumors circulated that a cooling system was installed beneath the field lowering temperatures. As absurd as it sounds, it actually felt to be true (although that could be more of our internal will to make it fact). Nonetheless, the field is immaculate.
We reported back to the hotel for a brief respite only before returning to a catered barbeque dinner for all the teams involved. Delicious. We fumbled around in the “Fan Zone” taking pictures and signing autographs before reassembling for opening ceremonies. All eight teams waited like kids on Christmas morning behind the outfield wall, listening to the accolades of each team privileged enough to be here. Finally, the University of Virginia (the last team announced due to alphabetical prejudices) was announced and our team proudly exited the steam-filled tunnel, proudly holding our orange and blue flag. What we entered was indescribable. A beautiful stadium filled with 20,000 screaming fans blurred out the chill-bumps and magical highlight video accompanied by Tinie Tempah’s “Written in the Stars”, the perfect add-on. The team enjoyed an awards banquet in which Tyler Biddix was honored for his amazing academic achievements in the Commerce School at the University followed by the night’s keynote speaker, Dave Winfield. Not to be outdone, Grammy and CMA award winner Martina Mcbride serenaded the stadium with “God Bless America.” The night culminated with the most brilliantly intoxicating fireworks display these eyes have ever seen. Needless to say, all of us walked out of there wide-eyed and oozing with excitement for the coming weeks.
Keep following us on this incredible journey. Go ‘Hoos!
June 17, 2011
• Here are some photos from today taken by Vince Briedis of the media relations staff.
• Coach O’Connor spoke with VirginiaSports.com after the ceremonies. You can view that by clicking here.
• 10 p.m. – What an experience we had tonight! The Opening Ceremonies left all of us speechless. Watch this video blog as I put the evening into words! Go ‘Hoos!!
• 6 p.m. – I found this video our fantastic guys at VirginiaSportsTV.com put together with today’s happenings. Watch their piece here. Off to dinner and the Opening Ceremonies.
• We took our traditional team picture in front of the Road to Omaha statue today. Here is a quick video from that moment and an unofficial picture below. Go ‘Hoos!
• 3:30 p.m. – Practice went well today – right now we are doing an autograph session on the concourse while Cal practices. Here is a quick video for your review. Go ‘Hoos!
• 11 a.m. – We have a busy, but exciting day here in Omaha. Let us start out with a quick video blog on the happenings. Please click here to view video. I will be back later after practice. Opening Ceremonies are tonight and we are all looking forward to that experience, I remember it well from 2009.
June 16, 2011
• Here are some photos from the trip taken by Vince Briedis of the media relations staff.
• Pit stop time! On the way to the hotel we stopped by Ameritrade Park for our first glimpse of the new home for the College World Series. Please click here to view a quick video from inside the new stadium.
• 10 a.m. (local time) – There was a great welcome group at the airport from the City of Omaha and College World Series officials. Here is a picture of me getting on the bus after landing in Omaha.
• 9:45 a.m. (local time) – We just landed in Omaha. Click here to view my short video.
• 6 a.m. – The illustrious “Golden Ticket” has been punched. Our 2011 University of Virginia Baseball Team will be joining the nation’s elite in the most sanctified of all the Midwest flatlands. Omaha. After winning arguably the greatest game (unquestionably the most exciting) in Virginia Baseball history, a plethora of headlines detail the endless opportunities that await us. No matter how many times somebody is lucky enough to experience the magic of the College World Series, it never gets to be an old hat. I can’t even begin to explain what lay ahead for us, but I can detail the extreme excitement flowing throughout our team.
Practices the last few days have been full of energy and excitement. The major difference between last week and this one is the amount of time between transitions. After winning the Charlottesville regional, our team was so antsy to start playing and it seemed like years before Irvine rolled into town. On the other hand, this incredible step to the CWS is happening significantly faster! Our bags are packed and the jumbo jet is ready to ship us over to the greatest playground in college baseball. We are all so excited to see not only the new stadium, but to just admire the aura of such hallowed ground. Very few get to experience this first hand, thus rest assured we are all prepared with fancy video cameras and sweaty palms to record every moment. For those of us that were fortunate enough to experience the thrill two years ago in 2009, the emotions this time are tenfold.
As the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia prepare roll into Omaha, it is sure to be unforgettable. Hopefully I’ll be able to share these priceless moments with those of you reading along. Please forgive me if my feeble attempts to portray something comparable to the Niagara Falls appear like the James River. The majesty will surely be indescribable.