June 25, 2014


Norwood's Homer Helps Vanderbilt Win National Title


In Omaha, Neb., John Norwood belted a solo homer in the top of the eighth to snap a 2-2 tie and propel Vanderbilt past third-seeded Virginia 3-2 Wednesday evening to win the national championship at the 2014 College World Series in front of 18,344 fans at TD Ameritrade Park. (photo courtesy of VU Media Relations)


It was the second national title in school history and the first for a men's team for the Commodores (51-21).


“I’m just happy for the kids and the university.” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said.


Norwood (3 for 3) faced Nick Howard, closer for the Cavaliers (53-16) with one away in the eighth. He turned on a 97-mph inside fastball and deposited it over the left field fence to give Vanderbilt a 3-2 lead.


"It's an amazing feeling," Norwood said, "but it's not just myself. You don't get there without the rest of your team, and that is the biggest thing. The home run is awesome, but like I said, we don't get there if Carson doesn't throw or Dansby doesn't play great D and hit. It's just everybody. Everyone's picking each other up no matter what."


Virginia had a chance to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the frame. Mike Papi had a leadoff single and moved to second on a walk to Joe McCarthy. Vandy closer Adam Ravenelle entered and both runners moved up on a sacrifice by Derek Fisher. Ravenelle hit Kenny Towns with a pitch to load the bases with one away. John La Prise hit a come-backer to Revenelle, who threw home for the force out. The relay throw was late to first, leaving Virginia with the bases full and two away. Brandon Downes hit a grounder to short and the force out at second ended the threat.


After Vanderbilt failed to score in the top of the ninth, Ravenelle set down the Cavaliers in order in the bottom of the ninth, including fanning the final two, to secure the win and record his third save.


“It’s a heck of a baseball team,” Corbin said. “We had to play very, very well in order to beat them.”


Virginia went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine, including seven over the final four frames.


Dansby Swanson (2 for 5) led off the game for Vanderbilt with a single and daringly moved to second on a foul out to third. Bryan Reynolds walked to put two runner on. The pair pulled off a double steal. The throw to second was high, allowing Swanson to come in with the game's first run.


The Commodores added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Norwood had a one-out base hit, moved to second on an error, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a single by Vince Conde to give Vanderbilt a 2-0 advantage.


Virginia answered in the bottom of the frame. Ninth-place hitter Robbie Coman had a leadoff single and moved to second on a fielder's choice. Daniel Pinero delivered a base hit to center to drive in Coman with the Cavs' first run. Papi walked, ending the night for starter Carson Fulmer. Stone came in and promptly hit Joe McCarthy with a pitch to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Towns' hot grounder to short was mishandled, allowing Pinero to bring home the tying run.


Stone (4-0 1.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K) earned the win in relief of Fulmer (5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).




  • The visiting team won each of the three games in the Championship Series.

  • Two rings are in Commodores pitcher Brian Miller’s future. He proposed to his girlfriend during the on-field celebration. She said yes.

  • Norwood’s homer came on a high-inside, 97-mph fastball from all-world closer Nick Howard. When asked how he felt about joining the likes of College World Series legends like Warren Morris, he said, “It’s an amazing feeling but it’s not just myself.” He went on to praise his teammates for enabling him to be in that position.  

  • About the homer off Howard, Corbin said, “That doesn’t happen to that kid, someone to turn it around like that, it takes a lot of ability.” It was the third homer hit off Howard this season.

  • Three of the game’s first four runs were aided by errors. Dansby Swanson scored from third on a throwing error by catcher Robbie Coman, who threw into center field on a double steal. A throwing error by Cavaliers third baseman Kenny Towns contributed to the Commodores’ second run. And Vince Conde mishandled a line drive to allow Virginia’s second run to score in the seventh inning.

  • Cavaliers coach Brian O’Connor made a quick switch by replacing starter Josh Sborz with Artie Lewicki in the second inning. “I just felt like we needed strikes,” he said. “I thought Artie was tremendous and gave us a chance to win the ballgame.” When he took Lewicki out after six brilliant innings, he said, “I just felt like it was time to make a switch, it wasn’t for lack of confidence…I have to look out for his future in this game.”

  • Lewicki on the loss: “It is what it is, Vanderbilt played better than us today.”


2014 Men's College World Series All-Tournament Team
Catcher: Nate Irving, Virginia
First Base: Kevin Cron, TCU
Second Base: Branden Cogswell, Virginia
Third Base: Tyler Campbell, Vanderbilt
Shortstop: C.J. Hinojosa, Texas
Outfield: John Norwood, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Rhett Wiseman, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Brandon Downes, Virginia 
Designated Hitter: Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
Pitcher: Artie Lewicki, Virginia
Pitcher: Brandon Waddell, Virginia 

Most Outstanding Player: Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt