Vanderbilt Wins First CWS On John Norwood Homer

College World SeriesOMAHA, Neb. – Vanderbilt center fielder John Norwood hit a one-out, solo home run in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and give Vanderbilt its’ first national championship in a 3-2 win over Virginia in Game 3 of the 2014 College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park on Wednesday. The junior was on base four times on the night and scored twice to lead the Commodores offense in the deciding game of the 2014 CWS Finals.

Norwood got his opportunity to win the game because of the gutsy pitching performances turned in by Vanderbilt’s pitching staff led by starter Carson Fulmer who allowed an earned run over 5.1 innings of work with five strike outs.

Hayden StoneHayden Stone threw 1.2 innings and left in the eighth with two-on and nobody out as Mike Papi led off the inning with a single and Joe McCarthy walked to set the table for the Cavs.

The Dores turned to closer Adam Revenelle who loaded the bases after a sac bunt by hitting Kenny Towns only to induce a pair of groundouts to end the scoring threat. The junior right-hander then got Virginia three-up, three-down to leave Papi standing on deck in the ninth to close out the win.

An interesting first inning led to Vanderbilt’s first score of the game as the Cavaliers’ starter Josh Sborz barely made it through the inning as he struggled to locate his fast ball. Dansby Swanson and Bryan Reynolds were on base to lead off the inning and a mis-fire by Virginia catcher Robbie Coman turned a double-steal of second and third into the games’ first run as Swanson scored after Coman’s throw sailed into center field for a 1-0 lead.

Virginia turned to Artie Lewicki in the second inning and he pitched well allowing only an unearned run over six innings of work with five strike outs.

In the sixth, John Norwood continued to press the Cavalier defense with his speed and athleticism as he reached on an infield single and advanced to second on Towns’ throwing error. The center fielder would reach third on a groundout before scoring as Vince Conde hit an infield single to deep short to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Cavaliers would battle back to tie the game in the home half of the sixth as Daniel Pinero singled home Coman, who led off the inning with a single to cut the lead to 2-1. Pinero would later score as Towns would reach on a rare fielding error by Conde to tie the game at 2-2.

However, a strikeout by John La Prise would leave the bases loaded and end the Cavs threat with the game still tied. Norwood would break the tie with his eighth inning homer off Virginia closer Nick Howard to give Vanderbilt the 3-2 win.

The title is the first men’s team title for the Commodores in any sport and continues the SEC’s dominance in national title games with representatives from the conference having appeared in seven straight finals and winning four. The ACC continues its drought without a representative winning a title since Wake Forest in 1955.

About the Author

Mark West
Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MarkWestCBC Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting. Follow on Twitter @MarkWestCBC