June 16, 2014


Buehler, Swanson lead Vanderbilt past UC Irvine

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com @RoadToOmaha


OMAHA, Neb. - It was no day off for Buehler on Monday.


Sophomore right-hander Walker Buehler tossed 5.1 hitless innings of relief as Vanderbilt defeated UC Irvine to remain undefeated in the 2014 College World Series in front of 20,792 fans at TD Ameritrade Park.


The Anteaters (41-24) will face Texas in an elimination game on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. CT. The winner will meet the Commodores (48-19) on Friday at 2 p.m. CT as Vanderbilt will have an opportunity to advance to the championship series.


"I think the game turned around when Walker came in," Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. "There was a momentum change, and he pounded the strike zone from the minute he got in there until the minute the game finished. It was very impressive."


Junior righty Tyler Beede struggled for the Commodores, going 3.2 innings with three hits, four runs, three walks, three hit batsmen and four strikeouts. Buehler entered with two on and two out in the bottom of the fourth and got a fly ball out to end the threat. He walked two and struck out seven over his 5.1 innings to raise his record to 12-2.


"Coach [Scott] Brown and Coach Corbin told me to be ready," Buehler said, "but you expect your guys to go out and perform as well as they can. I was happy I got to pick them up."


Sophomore second baseman Dansby Swanson, the leadoff hitter for Vanderbilt, was especially disruptive. He reached base five times in six plate appearances, going 3 for 5 with a walk and two runs.


The Commodores lit the scoreboard quickly in the top of the first. Swanson drew a four-pitch walk to open the game and moved to second on a base hit by Bryan Reynolds (2 for 5, 2 R). Vince Conde moved both up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Swanson scored the game's first run on a single by Zander Wiel (2 for 4, 2 RBI) and Reynolds came in on a bunt by Xavier Turner to give Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead.


The Anteaters erupted in the second. Kris Paulino had an RBI single and Adam Alcantara executed a suicide squeeze to knot the score at 2-2. Taylor Sparks delivered a two-run single with two away to put UCI ahead at 4-2.


Vanderbilt responded with three in the fifth. Swanson had a leadoff double and scored on a groundout by Conde. Reynolds had a base hit and came in on a double by Wiel. John Norwood's sacrifice fly plated Wiel to give the Commodores a 5-4 advantage.


The Commodores added an insurance run in the seventh. With two away, Rhett Wiseman doubled to right and scored on a base hit by Norwood to raise the score to 6-4.


"This game was surprisingly a close," UCI head coach Mike Gillespie said, "because, I promise you, it felt like a root canal."


Both teams missed chances to score, as Vanderbilt stranded 13 and UCI left seven on base.