NCAA

Virginia wins 1st CWS title in 4-2 win over Vanderbilt

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Virginia wins 1st CWS title in 4-2 win over Vanderbilt

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Pavin Smith homered and drove in three runs and Brandon Waddell turned in another strong College World Series pitching performance, leading Virginia over Vanderbilt 4-2 on Wednesday night for the school's first baseball national championship.

The Cavaliers (44-24) prevailed in the CWS finals rematch against the defending champion Commodores and won the Atlantic Coast Conference's first title in baseball since Wake Forest in 1955.

Waddell (5-5) went seven innings and allowed only two hits after Vanderbilt (51-21) scored twice in the first. He retired the last 11 batters he faced. It was Waddell's fifth career CWS start, and Virginia won each of them.

Nathan Kirby pitched the last two innings and struck out five of his eight batters for his first save. John Kilichowski (3-4) took the loss.

When pinch-hitter Kyle Smith got caught looking at a fastball to end the game, Kirby threw his glove and hat into the air as catcher Matt Thaiss ran to the mound to embrace him.

Virginia's 44 wins were the fewest by a national champion since the 1968 Southern California squad had 43. The Cavaliers endured a season of injuries and tough times at midseason and almost missed qualifying for the ACC Tournament. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 regional seed.

The Commodores had a second straight season with more than 50 wins, and they came into Wednesday having outscored their first nine NCAA Tournament opponents 70-15. They couldn't generate much after scoring their two runs in the first.

Smith stepped up for Virginia in Game 3 after going 1 for 8 and striking out four times in the first two games of the finals. He hit a two-run homer off Walker Buehler to tie it in the fourth, singled in the go-ahead run in the fifth and flashed defensively all night at first base.

Waddell was pitching on three days' rest after working the first five innings of the Cavaliers' 5-4 win over Florida on Saturday. Before that, he and Josh Sborz combined on a two-hit, 1-0 shutout of the Gators on June 16.

Sborz, who won three games and pitched 13 scoreless innings, was selected as the CWS Most Outstanding Player.

Kirby, who missed nine weeks because of injury and returned to start Virginia's 10-5 loss to Florida in its third CWS game, relieved Waddell to start the eighth and struck out the side. With a man on first, he fanned No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson for the second out.

Swanson, the 2014 CWS Most Outstanding Player, stood with his hands on his hips and shouted "No!" as first-base umpire Perry Costello ruled he didn't check his swing on the third strike, ending his final collegiate at-bat.

The Cavaliers also got another big game from Kenny Towns. He saved what would have been the go-ahead run for Vanderbilt in the fourth when he made a diving stop of a smash down the third-base line and threw out Tyler Campbell to end the inning. He later drove in an insurance run in the seventh.

Buehler, the 24th overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers, lasted only three innings in what was the second-shortest of his 15 starts this season. He allowed three hits and walked a season-high four.

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.