OMAHA, Neb. – The University of Vanderbilt scored nine runs on five walks, three hits and an error in the third inning to win Game 1 of the 2014 College World Series Final 9-8 over Virginia on Monday at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Commodores took advantage of an uncharacteristic inning defensively from the Cavaliers and on the mound from starter Nathan Kirby who simply lost the strike zone in the frame. Virginia would mount a comeback but would fall one run short of tying the game falling behind Vanderbilt 1-0 in the best of three series final.
In the first inning, things looked dicey for the Commodores starter Walker Buehler, who surrendered a pair of two out hits, as Virginia took the early 2-0 lead. Derek Fisher hit a two-run double that scored Branden Cogswell and Joe McCarthy for the first runs of the game. After opening the third inning with a strike out, Kirby then sandwiched a double between a pair of walks to load the bases with one out. Bryan Reynolds got Vandy on the board with a bases-loaded, infield single that scored Jason Delay to cut the lead to 2-1.
Then things unraveled for the southpaw as he surrendered three consecutive bases loaded walks to Vince Conde, Zander Wiel and John Norwood that gave the Dores a 4-2 lead. Then first-baseman Mike Papi was tied up on a grounder off the bat of Rhett Wiseman that scored Conde to extend the lead to 5-2.
Virginia was forced to turn to Whit Mayberry out of the pen and he got Chris Harvey to foul out near the seats in foul territory in right field but Wiel narrowly beat the throw home to give Vanderbilt a 6-2 lead.
Then newly minted hero Tyler Campbell continued his hot bat with a three-run double to extend the lead to 9-2. The Cavaliers would have plenty of fight and responded in the home half of the inning with a Kenny Towns RBI single and then a two-run single by Brandon Downes would cut the lead to 9-5. Nate Irving drove in Downes in the fifth and then scored on single by Daniel Pinero that cut the lead to two runs and kept the offensive momentum for the Cavs.
Virginia would pull within 9-8 with another run in the eighth after leading the inning off with a pair of singles by Cogswell and Pinero. Papi would then be asked to sac bunt them into scoring position from which McCarthy drove in Cogswell with a groundout. Fisher would groundout by inches on the next play to end the threat.
Vanderbilt closer Adam Ravenelle would hurl a perfect ninth to clinch the win for the Commodores. Game 2 will be Tuesday night at 7:00 PM with Tyler Beede the likely starter for Vanderbilt facing off against Brandon Waddell for the Cavaliers.