June 14, 2014


Vanderbilt Rides Three-Run Second to Edge Louisville

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com @RoadToOmaha


OMAHA, Neb. - Two-out hits were key for the Commodores.


Sophomore Dansby Swanson had a two-run double with two away to cap a three-run second as Vanderbilt defeated Louisville 5-3 Saturday evening in Game 2 of the 2014 College World Series in front of 23,625 fans at TD Ameritrade Park.


The Commodores (47-19) will face UC Irvine on Monday evening at 7 p.m.; the Cardinals (50-16) will meet Texas in an elimination game on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m.


Louisville had a chance to start the scoring in the top of the second. Alex Chittenden (2 for 4) had a one-out single and moved to second on a balk. With two away, Omaha native Grant Kay crushed a ball to left. Freshman Bryan Reynolds raced back and caught the ball before crashing into the wall to end the threat.


"I didn't see it directly off the bat," Reynolds said, "so it was struck well, so I just started running back and came out of the sun, and I just kind of went for it, and it was a good momentum swing for us."


With two away in the bottom of the frame, John Norwood drew a walk for Vanderbilt and moved to second on a base hit by Ro Coleman. A walk to Karl Ellison loaded the bases. A wild pitch plated Norwood and Swanson’s double scored Coleman and Ellison to give Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead.


"The first pitch, I was just looking for something up to hit," Swanson said, "and he threw it down in the dirt and got away from the catcher. Johnny was able to score, and then the runners on first and second moved up to second and third.


"I believe I ended up getting down in the count 1-2 after two straight breaking balls.  Then just tried to see the ball deep and let it get on me a little bit more and tried to stay on it. I was able to put a good swing on a pretty good pitch. It was down and in and able to barrel it up."


Vandy added a run in the bottom of the fourth. Swanson had a two-out single, stole second, moved to third on an error and scored in a triple by the speedy Reynolds to give the Commodores a 4-0 advantage.


The Cardinals broke through in the top of the fifth. Kay had a leadoff single up the middle, and Sutton Whiting brought him home with a triple to right. Whiting later scored on a groundout to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.


Louisville made it a one-run game in the seventh as Zach Lucas had a leadoff single and scored on a two-out base hit by Nick Solak to make it 4-3.


"We kept nipping away and we seemed to get it within a run or two," Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell said, "but we could never catch up, and I just thought offensively they did a really good job tonight 1 through 9 in their lineup."


The 'Dores added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame as Vince Conde walked for the third time and scored later on a passed ball to push the margin to 5-3.


Sophomore right-hander Carson Fulmer (7-1, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K) earned the victory, getting the start ahead of junior first-round pick Tyler Beede.


"We wanted to match up the skill set of our pitcher versus the skill set of Louisville," Corbin said. "We thought he was one that could contain the running game well. We thought he could contain the bunt game, and Louisville does get right on top of the plate.  So you're pitching into a very small window and thought he could execute that, and he did. I thought he did a nice job. First three innings, I thought he came out and pitched well. We started to get into deeper counts after that and decided to make that switch."


Junior right-hander Adam Ravenelle allowed one hit over the final 2.1 innings with two strikeouts to record his first save.