2021 College World Series: Vanderbilt rallies for wild comeback win against Stanford
Barry Allen • 6/23/2021 in Baseball
(Rebecca S. Gratz/AP)
Vanderbilt hadn’t won a game when trailing after six innings entering the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The Commodores now have three such wins under its belt, including two late-inning comebacks at the College World Series.
The win over Stanford on Wednesday is the most improbable one of them all.
Down to its final out against Stanford ace Brandon Beck, the Commodores scratched out two runs to stay alive at the CWS with a 6-5 win over the Cardinal.
Beck entered the game in the top of the seventh inning with a two-strike count on nine-hole hitter Jayson Gonzalez. Beck struck out Gonzalez, the first of five straight strikeouts, and retired the first eight batters he faced.
He could not get the final out.
Vandy left fielder Javier Vaz drew a two-out walk and pinch hitter Spencer Jones reached on an infield hit to shortstop, but Adam Crampton’s throw got past first baseman Nick Brueser which allowed Vaz to take third.
Jones' infield single was just his second at-bat in the NCAA Tournament.
Center fielder Enrique Bradfield, Jr., lined the first pitch he saw into right field to score Vaz with the tying run, and send Jones to third.
Beck then uncorked a wild pitch over the head of catcher Kody Huff, and Jones raced home with the winning run.
The Commodores will now face North Carolina State on Friday at 2 p.m. (ET). Vandy will need two wins over the Wolfpack to reach the CWS Finals. All-Americans Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter would likely be available on the mound.
Stanford took advantage of three early errors to grab a 4-0 lead.
Center fielder Brock Jones hit a solo home in the second inning and added a two-out single in the fourth inning.
Vandy got two runs back on Dominic Keegan’s two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Jones picked up his third hit and third RBI of the game with a two-out double in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 5-2.
Vandy trimmed the lead to 5-4 on RBI singles by Tate Kolwyck and Parker Noland in the bottom of the sixth.
The Commodores' bullpen was strong again, giving the offense a chance for the comeback.
Nick Maldonado, Chris McElvain, Hugh Fisher and Luke Murphy held the Cardinal to one run in six innings. The Commodores bullpen struck out nine.
Murphy, who stranded the bases loaded in the eighth, got the win.