June 6, 2014


Vandy Walks Over Stanford

By Gary Johnson

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com



NASHVILLE - The magic number is one.


Vanderbilt is just one game away from the College World Series after claiming an 11-6 win over Stanford in the Nashville Super Regional on Friday afternoon.


It was quality starting pitching in the Regionals that got Vanderbilt (48-18) to the Super Regionals, but it was the bats that led to this victory.


The Commodores collected 14 hits, including a 4-for-4 effort with a pair of RBI from left fielder Bryan Reynolds. First baseman Zander Wiel and outfielder John Norwood also contributed two hits with two RBI.


Vanderbilt hitters also drew nine walks in the contest.


“We were able to check off the high balls, and make him come into the zone,” Reynolds said. “It’s a pretty cool feeling. We just got to play how we play, and everything will work out.”

The Commodores scored early and often, putting four runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning.

Stanford starter John Hochstatter walked the bases loaded then walked in the first run of the game, setting the stage for a big inning for Vanderbilt. The second run came off a wild pitch, then Norwood hit a two-run single into left field for the 4-0 advantage.

Vanderbilt tacked on three more runs in the second frame to go up 7-0.

Hochstatter walked lead-off pinch hitter Karl Ellison before being taken out the game. Dansby Swanson and Reynolds singled to lead the bases. Vince Conde walked to score Ellison, Wiel hit a sacrifice fly to score Swanson and Reynolds scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Xavier Turner.

The Commodores then scored three more runs on four base hits in the fourth.

Jason Delay and Ellison each singled and moved up a base off Swanson’s sacrifice.  Reynolds singled to score Delay, and Ellison scored after a throwing error. Wiel singled in Reynolds to make the score 10-0.


“We just gave them too much early,” Cardinal coach Mark Marquess said. “Obviously you can’t give a quality team like Vanderbilt any free base runners and we did. Now credit to them, they got a couple of hits with people on base when they got on there, which kind of broke it open early.


“But then we were fortunate enough to get the same thing coming back. We had a couple of walks and base hits and got back in it, but we were just too far behind.”

Stanford (34-25) got on the board in the top of the fifth when Alex Blandino and Austin Slater each singled and scored when Wayne Taylor tripled to right center.

The Cardinals then rallied for four runs in the fifth.

Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede, who was the 14th pick of the Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants, walked leadoff hitter Tommy Edman and Danny Diekroeger then hit Slater with a pitch to load the bases with one out.

Zach Hoffpauir singled home Diekroeger, and Brant Whiting hit a sacrifice fly to score Blandino, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Dominic Jose ripped a two-run single to score Hoffpauir and Slater to cut the lead to 10-6.


Vanderbilt’s bullpen kept the Cardinal in check from that point. And the Commodores added a run in the seventh when Reynolds singled to score Swanson.


“Well it was a tale of two games in some ways, but I’m proud of the kids the way we attacked the baseball early,” Commodores coach Tim Corbin said. “We took advantage of some walks, and we took advantage of some free bases. We were able to capitalize early and jet out to what seemed like a big lead at the time. As we all know, those leads are sometimes tough to contain when they come so early from a mental standpoint.’


Beede went 4.2 innings, allowing up six runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts and four walks. Tyler Ferguson followed and went 2.2 innings with no runs while fanning five and walking three the claim the win. Brian Miller closed out the final 1.2 innings. 


“That first hitter was a little nerve wracking,” Ferguson said. “I haven’t been out there in a while, but was able to get that second guy out. From there I just started getting ahead of guys, and kept attacking them. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been throwing intra-squad and playing a lot of long toss. My arm feels good."


Hochstatter gave up five runs on one hit with two strikeouts and five walks.


The second game of the Super Regional will be on Saturday at 2 local time.




·        Stanford’s last Super Regional appearance was in 2012. The Cardinal lost 17-1 and 18-7 to Florida State University.