June 1, 2014


Coleman Lifts Commodores

By Gary Johnson

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com



NASHVILLE - Freshman pinch-hitter Ro Coleman belted a walk-off single into left field to score Zander Wiel to give Vanderbilt a 3-2 victory over Oregon to win the Nashville Regional on Sunday night and a reservation in the Super Regionals.


Wiel drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the ninth then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Xavier Turner was hit by a pitch before Rhett Wiseman had a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. With a 3-1 pitch count and the infield playing in, Coleman delivered the Commodores’ first walk-off win of the season.


"I was just going to the plate relaxed looking for something good to drive, letting the ball travel, and just drive something the other way,” Coleman said. “I got a good pitch to hit, and I just drove it. I was just trying to make him come into my zone, and when it got 3-1, I knew he was going to come with a fastball. So, I was just ready to hit.


"It feels great. Just to have great teammates. I love the school. Coach [Tim] Corbin is just a wonderful guy. It just feels great to be a part of this program, just wonderful."


Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin couldn't be happier for Coleman, who grew up amid violence and gangs in Chicago.


“I trust the kid; I trust the personality,” Corbin said. “The kid, what he stands for, what he has been through, and his dad. The fact that he’s at Vanderbilt University going to school is the best thing in the world, and I know he got that hit. He is who he is. He’s just real, a low-maintenance guy and he’s tough as nails.”


Vanderbilt (44-18), which went 3-0 at this weekend’s Regional, will next face the winner of Monday night’s game between Stanford and Indiana. If Indiana wins, Vanderbilt will travel to Bloomington for Super Regionals. If Stanford wins, the Commodores will host the Cardinal in the next round.


Oregon (44-20) led off the game with a single by Aaron Payne, who advanced to third off a single by Mitchell Tolman and scored off a sacrifice fly from Shaun Chase for the early 1-0 lead.


Vanderbilt designated hitter Nolan Rogers led off the bottom of the third with a walk and scored off a double down the left-field line by second baseman Dansby Swanson.

The Ducks regained the lead 2-1 in the fifth when A.J. Balta singled and scored on a single by Kevin Minjares. But the rally was short-lived after Commodores shortstop Vince Conde turned a double-play to end the inning.


In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rogers led off with a walk for Vanderbilt and was pinch run for by Will Cooper, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jason Delay. Cooper reached third on a throwing error by Minjares at short and scored on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Bryan Reynolds to even the score at 2.


For the third straight game of the Nashville Regional, Vanderbilt had outstanding starting pitching.


Vanderbilt right-handed sophomore Walker Buehler (11-2) was impressive, pitching a complete game with a pair of earned runs, eight strikeouts and one walk.


"I think I kind of just settled in,” Buehler said. “Coming into the Regional you can get a little overanxious, and I left some balls up. As Coach Corbin said, they are a talented offensive team. Payne started off the game with a first-pitch swing and got a hit. That kind of changes the complexion of innings. They battled us all day."

On Friday night against Xavier, Tyler Beede worked eight shutout innings and struck out a career-high 14 batters in an 11-0 win, and Carson Fulmer held Oregon to two runs on three hits in eight innings in Saturday’s 7-2 victory.


The three starting pitchers combined to go 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 25 innings. Beede was named the Regional’s MVP, and Buehler was named to the All-Tournament team.


Swanson finished 2 for 4, and Wiseman also contributed a pair of hits for the Commodores.


Oregon freshman right-hander Stephen Nogosek (1-2) got the start and was extremely impressive, going seven innings with one earned run and four hits. He had seven strikeouts and only walked two batters.


“Tough one obviously. I’m very proud of my entire organization,” Oregon coach George Horton said. “It's hard to explain. Unfortunately, we're in an industry that's measured by the scoreboard. My guys laid it on the line in this tournament like they've done so many times for us.


"We were hanging on a bit with a rope and unfortunately we didn't close it out. I think we gave the Commodores everything we could. I think that's probably reflective of the effort of our organization everyday in our lives and in the classroom.”



·    Vanderbilt will be making an appearance in the Super Regionals for the third time in the past four seasons, and for the fifth time in the program’s history. All of them have happened under head coach Tim Corbin, who arrived in 2003.

*2014 Nashville Regional — All-Tournament Team 

C – Daniel Rizzie, Xavier 

1B – A.J. Balta, Oregon

2B – Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt 

3B – Mitchell Tolman, Oregon

SS – Vince Conde, Vanderbilt

OF – Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt

OF – Brian Bruening, Xavier 

OF – Tyler Baumgartner, Oregon 

DH – Shaun Chase, Oregon 

P – Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt* 

P – Walker Buehler, Vanderbilt 

MVP – Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt