You'll be hard-pressed to find a better Cinderella sports story than UC Santa Barbara Baseball this year.
The Gauchos were down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning against the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals, who entered the Super Regionals with the best odds to win the 2016 College World Series.
But UCSB got two on with one out in the bottom of the 9th and then drew a walk to load the bases. Backup catcher Sam Cohen came on and launched a grand slam over the right field wall to give the Gauchos a walk-off win and advance them to their first College World Series in program history.
UL was 47-0 when leading after 8, facing a guy with 1 homer in 19 games and a program with no CWS berths... #sports pic.twitter.com/yeLeV3BC2P— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) June 12, 2016
UCSB beat Louisville, 4-2 in the opener of the Louisville Super Regional on Saturday to end the Cardinals' 22-game home winning streak. This was also on the heels of the Cards having had one of the most historic nights in program history Thursday, with three players taken in the first round of the MBL Draft and four taken overall in the first two rounds.
This was simply a juggernaut and probably the best team in college baseball going against a program that rarely has made the tournament traditionally (4 NCAA berths since 1997). The Gauchos were also given the lowest odds to win the CWS of any team in the Super Regionals, and few thought they would even take one game from the Cards.
Forget about this being Louisville though on a UK site. No matter how you look at it or who you're rooting for, you can't deny that's a pretty amazing Cinderella story for a program that doesn't exactly win big in any major sport. I'd say the same thing if this was Kentucky on the losing end, but sadly the Cats can't get out of the Regionals when they do make the Big Dance.
Hats off to Louisville for an amazing year, and congrats to UCSB for the best season in program history.