June 7, 2014
Taylor-Made: Stanford Survives
By Gary Johnson
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Stanford had been there before, needing to win back-to-back
games to advance.
The Cardinal got that first win on Saturday when
Wayne Taylor belted a one-out, walkoff home run to right
field in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 5-4 victory
over Vanderbilt and force an if-necessary game on Sunday in the
Nashville Super Regional with a trip to the College World Series
on the line.
Stanford had to win two games at Indiana in the
Regionals to advance, and Taylor blasted a home run in the final
game to help the Cardinal (35-25) win.
“I think [Taylor] had two strikes when he hit the
home run today, and against Indiana, he hit a home run with two
strikes; he’s in a good groove right now,” Stanford coach Mark
Marquess said. “It was obviously a great college baseball game,
a little too great for me late in the game. We gave them a lot
of opportunities and they took advantage of it. I thought we
were comfortable with a 4-1 lead, but, obviously, that wasn’t
the case. I’m real proud of the way we played…Wayne’s home run
in the ninth was fantastic. He’s done a ton for us already.”
Both starting pitchers threw well, especially
early in the game as Stanford freshman right-hander Cal
Quantrill went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits
with five strikeouts and three walks.
“He just utilized his changeup,” Vanderbilt right
fielder Rhett Wiseman said. “He was throwing a lot of guys
backwards, and his changeup was his best pitch today. When you
weren’t looking for it he’d throw the slider in there. You’ve
got to give him credit. He’s a different pitcher than he was
when we faced him earlier this year.”
Wiseman led the Commodores (45-19) at the plate
with two doubles in four at-bats.
Sophomore right-hander Carson Fulmer got the
start for Vanderbilt, going 6.1 inning and giving up four runs
on seven hits while fanning nine with no walks.
Vanderbilt struck first in the top of the second
inning when Wiseman ripped a two-out double into right-center
then scored on a throwing error after John Norwood singled.
Stanford took the lead in the bottom of the
fourth when Austin Slater and Zach Hoffpauir had back-to-back
singles before Brant Whiting (3 for 4) delivered a two-run
The Commodores blew a great scoring opportunity
when Wiseman led off the seventh inning with his second double
of the game and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice but was
stranded after Quantrill was able to work out of the inning with
a strikeout and groundout.
Whiting led off the bottom of the seventh with
his third hit of the day and his second double and scored on a
Taylor single. Pinch-hitter Jack Klein put down a sacrifice bunt
to advance Taylor to second before he scored on Brett Michael
Doran’s single for a 4-1 Cardinal advantage.
Vanderbilt pushed across two runs to cut the lead
to 4-3 in the top of the eighth, but reliever AJ Vanegas (4-3)
left the bases loaded.
Dansby Swanson singled and
Bryan Reynolds walked. Vince Conde hit into a fielder’s choice
with Reynolds out at second and Swanson advancing to third.
Zander Wiel walked on four straight pitches to load the bases,
and Xavier Turner reached on a fielder’s choice that scored
Swanson. Wiseman walked to load the bases again before Norwood
drew a walk to score Conde.
After Ro Colman grounded out on a close play at
first base to lead off the top of the ninth, Swanson struck out
swinging but advanced to first on a wild pitch. Reynolds walked
then Conde hit a long fly ball to the warning track in left for
the second out. Wiel had an infield single to load the bases
before Vanegas hit Turner to score Swanson to even the score at
4. Wiseman followed with an out as the Commodores left the bases
loaded for the second straight inning.
“I thought it was a heck of a college baseball
game. It really was,” Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. “We were
just on the opposite side of it. But that doesn't minimize the
effort of our kids, Carson [Fulmer] and our players’ ability to
get back into the game.
“They beat us with their bats. You know you have
to hand that to them. We didn’t give them anything, they earned
it. But I’m just proud of my boys. Proud of how they got back
into the game and how Carson battled the entire time and gave us
a chance to win.”
A number of Stanford
players were scheduled to take final exams while in Nashville
this weekend, including today’s starting pitcher Cal Quantrill
after the game.
is the son of former Major League All-Star pitcher Paul
Quantrill while Stanford left fielder Dominic Jose is the son
of former Major League All-Star Felix Jose.
Carson Fulmer was the closer until mid-season when he was
added to the starting rotation.