OMAHA, Neb. -- Virginia’s Nathan Kirby had a knack for impressive outings throughout the 2014 season. There was the no-hitter at Pittsburgh when he struck out 18 and the eight innings of one-hit work against Arkansas in the regionals only two weeks ago.

For a while Sunday night against Mississippi in the final game of the opening round of the College World Series, it looked as if Kirby would add one more to the list. A single by Errol Robinson in the third inning was the only hit Kirby allowed in seven-plus innings in a 2-1 walk-off win against the Rebels.

But it wasn’t just Kirby. He and Artie Lewicki combined to toss the first one-hitter at the CWS since 1983 when Alabama did so against Arizona State and only the fourth since the first series with aluminum bats in '74.

2014 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Top Performers: Day 8
Breeze: Trio stars in Vanderbilt's 10-inning thriller Photos
Kroll: Garrido sums up UT loss: ‘It’s a cruel game’
Breeze: Pitching fuels UVa.'s run to CWS Finals  Photos
Kroll: Ole Miss' well runs dry in loss to Virginia
Top Performers: Day 7
Cross: Texas takes advantage of Vandy mistakes
Kroll: Hinojosa remains talk of town  Photos
Top Five Plays through first 10 games
Top Performers: Day 6
Cross: Bianco's boys have perfected elimination game
Kroll: Ole Miss advances behind Allen  Photos
Top Performers: Day 5
Kroll: Hinojosa's homer leads Longhorns  Photos
Cross: Hollingsworth tosses gem in second start of season
UC Irvine's Morales finds inspiration in his sister
Top Performers: Day 4
Kroll: Cavs find time for it all in win  Photos
Cross: Virginia shows off pitching depth in 15 innings
Cross: Ole Miss makes most of chances  Photos
Kroll: Texas Tech beaten at own game as CWS run ends
Ole Miss goes to the zoo   Meet the Bortles brothers
Top Performers: Day 3
Kroll: Vandy hits magic number for CWS win  Photos
Cross: Vanderbilt's Bueler answers the call in relief
Kroll: Texas makes the plays Louisville can't  Photos
Cross: How bullpens will help decide the CWS
Corey Ray & Ro Coleman: Chicago's Finest
Top Performers: Day 2
Kroll: Kirby, Papi lead Virginia to victory  Photos
Kroll: Morrison makes his pitch on CWS stage  Photos
Higgins: Ole Miss fans flock to Omaha
Hill: TD Ameritrade Park the stage -- and a star
Higgins: Texas enjoys off day at team barbeque
Hill: Plenty of dads spending Father's Day at the CWS
Vanderbilt's antics in the outfield
Top Performers: Day 1
Kroll: Vandy pushes right buttons in opening win  Photos
Hill: Louisville fans thrilled to be back in Omaha
Higgins: Stirring pre-game ceremony marks Flag Day
Kroll: UC Irvine debunks myth in Game 1 win  Photos
Hill: Despite team's fortunes, LSU fans show up in Omaha
CWS grounds crew is Omaha's unsung home team
Freshman, senior share thoughts on opening ceremony
Kroll: Five questions to get to know players and coaches
Higgins: Quizzing the coaches on CWS history
Hill: Players and coaches discuss favorite sports movies
Photo Essay: CWS contenders take their cuts
Photo Essay: Talented players dot CWS landscape
Team Capsules  |  Opening Round Matchups  |  Draft Picks
Highlights  |  Brackets: Interactive  Print
Kirby, the ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year, posted a quality start for the 15th time in 17 starts. He was dominant against an aggressive Ole Miss lineup that hadn’t recorded less than three hits in a game this season and hadn’t been one-hit since 2010 against LSU in the SEC tournament. Kirby allowed only three balls to leave the infield.

“[Kirby] walked three guys and that’s probably a high number for him,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “He’s lights out; he’s thrown a one-hitter, he’s thrown a no-hitter. He’s just tremendous.”

Kirby had a game plan that worked early and often.

“My plan was just to make them beat me,” Kirby said. “And I thought I did a good job in that.”

“I thought Nathan Kirby was really tremendous [Sunday night],” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Certainly in the eighth inning those couple of walks, I'm sure he probably would want those back, but he did a great job of getting us to the eighth inning.”

Heck, even when Ole Miss tied the game in the eighth inning, it was done with back-to-back walks by Kirby, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI groundout by pinch hitter Holt Perdzock. That’s the type of night it was for the Rebels, and at the time -- they were ecstatic. In what was an overwhelmingly red-clad Ole Miss crowd of 23,393 -- in Omaha for the first time since 1972 -- it was all the excitement they’d see.

The one-hitter might be buried considering how Virginia won the game in the bottom of the ninth in the first walk-off hit in the College World Series since 2011. Oddly enough, Virginia was involved in that game, too, when South Carolina walked off against the Cavaliers in 13 innings.

Having left 10 runners on base through eight innings, it looked as if Virginia was wasting too many chances. It’s something the Cavs are used to doing -- Virginia had its 25th game this season finishing with 10 or more runners left on. It was just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position when Mike Papi strolled up to the plate in the ninth with two outs.

He wasn’t going to let it happen again.

“I had a couple other opportunities earlier in the game,” Papi said. “I was just looking for a pitch in the middle of the plate. I know when I got it that I really got it. I was hoping and praying it’d fall somewhere out there.”

Papi got that pitch from Mississippi’s Aaron Greenwood and smashed a double into the gap in right-center field to score pinch runner Thomas Woodruff for his ACC-leading 55th RBI.

“Every walk-off is awesome,” Papi said. “I’m speechless. But having done it in the College World Series makes it even better.”

Related:
Papi, Virginia walk off vs. Mississippi Highlights