Papi stars for Virginia

First Posted: 6/25/2014

Tunkhannock graduate Mike Papi led the University of Virginia baseball team to within one run of winning its first College World Series title.

A junior, Papi played first base and outfield and batted third for Virginia, which lost to Vanderbilt, 3-2, in Wednesday night’s championship game.

Earlier this month, Papi was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft, going 38th overall to the Cleveland Indians.

Papi was a two-time, first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference all-star. He led the league in home runs this season with 11 and set a school record with 61 walks for the season. As a sophomore in 2013, Papi batted .381 to win the ACC batting title and earn first-team All-America honors.

Virginia went unbeaten in its four-team pool at the College World Series in Omaha. It then played Vanderbilt in the best-of-three final, winning Tuesday’s second game but dropping the other two by one run each.

Papi scored two runs in Tuesday’s 7-2 victory, scoring in both the three-run sixth and two-run seventh when Virginia overcame a 2-1 deficit.

For the three-game championship series, he was 2-for-10 with three runs, two walks and a sacrifice. He hit .273 for the six-game World Series and drove in two runs.

Papi hit .383 for the entire NCAA Tournament, leading Virginia’s offense through the regional and super regional titles.

On the season, Papi batted .307 with 11 doubles. He scored 55 runs and drove in 56.

While at Tunkhannock, Papi led the Tigers to the 2011 state Class AAA championship game, including throwing a no-hitter in a 9-0 semifinal win over Blue Mountain.

Papi will likely face the choice between signing with Cleveland for a significant bonus or returning to Virginia for his senior year.

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