June 1, 2014
Coleman Lifts Commodores
By Gary Johnson
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
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
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
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.”
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