June 7, 2014


Taylor-Made: Stanford Survives

By Gary Johnson
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

NASHVILLE - 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 double.


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.

  • Quantrill 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.

  • Vanderbilt pitcher Carson Fulmer was the closer until mid-season when he was added to the starting rotation.