The all-out war between batters and pitchers has made its way to the College World Series, and it got particularly heated on Friday night in Omaha.
In an elimination game between Vanderbilt and Louisville, with a trip to the CWS Finals on the line, junior Cardinals pitcher Luke Smith pitched a masterpiece of a game. After seven and two-thirds, the right hander from Champaign, Ill., had struck out nine Commodores, given up just one run and was poised to go the distance. With two outs and nobody on, Smith recorded his 10th strikeout of the night on a filthy curveball, then stared down Vandy first baseman Julian Infante and dropped two HARD "F--- YOU"'s in his direction. He also added a couple "sit the f--- downs," we think. Have a watch at the exchange that set Twitter aflame:
And here's an extended version with Smith continuing to taunt the Vandy bench:
Tensions were obviously high, as both teams were on the brink of the College World Series. That was Smith's 106th pitch of the night, and he returned in the top of the ninth with his team leading 2-1. He promptly blew the game, walking a batter and giving up a game-tying RBI double before being relieved, spoiling what was one of the best outings of his life. Vandy tacked on one more run and eventually won the game 3-2, earning the other spot in the Finals against Michigan.
You're not going to believe this, but people were very MAD ONLINE at Smith for his actions, even nine-time PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker, a Vanderbilt alum:
Where is the CLASS?!?!?!?!
People, this is what makes sports great—intensity, emotion, fire. Did he use bad words? Yes. Did it come back to bite him? Yes. Should he be thrown behind bars? Definitely not. Earlier this month, I seem to recall a Vanderbilt pitcher who displayed some similar fire, albeit in a much less profane manner, and he was praised. Let the kids play, right?!?!