June 23, 2014


Nine-Run Third Carries Vanderbilt Past Virginia


In Omaha, Neb., Tyler Campbell had a three-run double to cap a nine-run third as Vanderbilt edged Virginia 9-8 Monday evening to win the opener of the Championship Series of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.


The Commodores (50-20) are one win away from the first national championship for a men's program at Vanderbilt.


“We’re fortunate to win that game, for sure,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “No one could have scripted that game.”


The Cavaliers (52-15) started the scoring the bottom of the first as Derek Fisher (2 for 5) delivered a two-run single to give Virginia a 2-0 advantage.


That three-run two-bagger was the second of the frame for Campbell. His first followed a one-out walk to Jason Delay. Dansby Swanson drew a walk to load the bases. Bryan Reynolds singled to drive in the first run, while Vince Conde, Zander Wiel and John Norwood each drew bases-loaded walks to make it 4-2. Rhett Wiseman reached on an error to plate another run and ended the day for UVa starter Nathan Kirby (9-3, 2.1 IP, 2 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K). Chris Harvey delivered a sacrifice fly before Campbell's three-run double to up the advantage to 9-2.


“The game was defined in the third inning,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. "Nathan Kirby has done the job all year long for this team. I thought he was pretty sharp the first two innings. The third inning, he just kind of came unraveled.”


“I just couldn’t find my release point,” Kirby said. “It hadn’t happened all year, but it happened tonight.”


Virginia cut into the deficit in the bottom of the third as Kenny Towns had an RBI single and Brandon Downes (2 for 5) delivered a two-run single to make it 9-5.


The Cavs added another pair in the fifth. Nate Irving drove in one with a double and Daniel Pinero (3 for 5) had an RBI single as Virginia narrowed the gap at 9-7.


UVa pulled to within one in the eighth. Branden Cogswell (3 for 4) had a leadoff single, moved to second on a base hit by Pinero, advanced to third on a sac bunt by Mike Papi and scored on a groundout by Joe McCarthy to make it a 9-8 contest.


Jared Miller (7-2, 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K) earned the win in relief, while Adam Ravenelle retired the Cavs in order in the bottom of the ninth for his second save.


The nine runs were the most surrendered by Virginia this season. The Cavaliers are 0-10 when allowing five or more runs. It was the first loss for UVa when scoring seven or more runs.


“It’s nice to be up 1-0, but that’s not where our mindset is right now,” Swanson said. “We’re focused on still playing the game.”




  •       Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin on third baseman Tyler Campbell, who has replaced Xavier Turner, who was suspended three games ago for violating an NCAA rule: “I guess Tyler’s a veteran now. He’s played three games. I just thought his play all the way around was aggressive and on point.” Before the press conference, Corbin told ESPN’s audience that Campbell’s Omaha run, which includes the game-winning infield single against Texas to reach the title series, is “just storybook, it’s a Hoosiers’ type thing.”

  •       Campbell had two doubles in the nine-run inning – one that got the rally going and another that drove in three – but Corbin said he told his team that the biggest play offensively was Dansby Swanson beating the throw to second base on Bryan Reynolds’ grounder to short.

  •       After battling back the whole game, Virginia nearly tied the game in the eighth inning, but Vince Conde, shifted up the middle against left-handed hitters Joe McCarthy and Derek Fisher, made two slick plays. On the first, McCarthy’s liner grazed off John Kilichowski’s cleat, enabling Conde to get to the ball and fire in time to first as a run scored to make it 9-8. On the next, Conde gloved behind second base and fired just in time to get Fisher.

  •      When asked about not pitching for a while, Kilichowski said, “I do pitch; I pitch in scrimmages all the time.”  

  •       Cavaliers relievers Whit Mayberry and Austin Young were splendid. Although Mayberry allowed Campbell’s second double, he allowed three hits and one earned run in 3.1 innings. Young allowed one hit and struck out four in 3.1 scoreless innings. “Our relief pitchers kept the game in check and gave us a chance,” O’Connor said.

  • “On this stage, when you give up nine runs in an inning, you can be a little shell-shocked, on your heels a little bit,” O’Connor said. He said that he reminded his team what they play for and that they had the opportunity the rest of the game to show the heart they had and what they were capable of.

  • Kirby said he had a tough time finding his release point. “It kind of hit me in the first inning, but I tried to fight through it, and it got to me in the third inning.” In his past three starts – two in Omaha and one in the Super Regionals – he’s allowed 11 earned runs in 14 innings (7.07 ERA). He allowed 15 earned runs in 91.1 innings in going 8-1 with an 1.48 ERA in becoming the ACC Co-Pitcher of the year during the regular season. Added O’Connor: “Those of us who have pitched, we’ve all been there before. This outing is not going to define who he is as a person or who he is as a pitcher.”