• 93°

Vandy scores on wild pitch in 9th, advances for rematch with Wolfpack

By ERIC OLSON

AP Sports Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Spencer Jones scored on Brendan Beck’s wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to keep Vanderbilt alive in the College World Series with a 6-5 victory over Stanford.

The reigning national champion Commodores were down to their last strike before winning in shocking fashion against the Pac-12 pitcher of the year, who had been dominant since beginning his rare relief appearance in the seventh.

Vanderbilt (47-16), which avoided its shortest stay at the CWS in its five appearances, all since 2011, will play North Carolina State in the Bracket 1 final. The Commodores would have to beat the Wolfpack on Friday and again Saturday to reach the best-of-three championship series a second straight time.

Vandy won the national title in 2019. There was no CWS last year because of the pandemic.
The Commodores were uncharacteristically sloppy against Stanford (39-17) until the middle innings and pulled within 5-4 after being down 4-0.

Vanderbilt’s first five batters struck out against Beck (9-3), and no one reached base until Javier Vaz walked on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth.

At that point, it was Stanford that got sloppy. Jones hit a pinch infield single, and Vaz ended up on third on shortstop Adam Crampton’s off-target throw to first.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled to right to bring home Vaz and send Jones to third.
On a 1-0 count to Carter Young, Beck’s pitch went high and glanced off catcher Kody Huff’s glove and went to the back wall, allowing Jones to come home as the Vanderbilt dugout emptied in celebration.

Stanford left the bases loaded in the fourth and eighth innings and stranded a total of 11 runners.
Vanderbilt came to Omaha 1-13 when trailing after six innings. The Commodores have been in that situation in both of their wins in Omaha, having come back from a 5-3 deficit to win 7-6 in 12 innings against Arizona on Saturday.

The way the Commodores started Wednesday, this win seemed improbable.

Three of Stanford’s first four runs were unearned, with Vanderbilt committing three errors for the second time in three CWS games after having three errors in only two of their previous 60.

Errors by third baseman Jayson Gonzalez and second baseman Parker Noland led to Stanford’s first run. After Brock Jones’ homer in the third, the Cardinal went up 4-0 in the fourth after Young’s error at short loaded the bases and reliever Nick Maldonado walked in a run before Tim Tawa’s RBI infield single.

The Commodores managed only one more hit off left-hander Quinn Mathews launched a 400-plus-feet homer to left to cut Stanford’s lead to 4-2 in the fourth, and RBI singles by pinch-hitter Tate Kolwyck and Noland got Vandy within a run in the sixth.

Luke Murphy (4-1) worked the last 1 1/3 innings to earn the win.

More NCAA baseball tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Comments

Crime

Blotter: July 29

Local

Downtown residents, business owners say noisy construction is A-OK, sign of progress to come

Business

County unemployment rises in June, positive job growth seen in leisure and hospitality sector

Local

NC poet laureate will speak during historical marker celebration, talks about life, race

Local

Spencer moves back public hearing on longer, staggered terms

Education

High school fire academy lets seniors jump start a service career

News

Country Club of Salisbury unveils renovated clubhouse, plots additional upgrades

David Freeze

David Freeze: Biggest adventure day coming next

Local

South Ellis Street in for improvements because of $100,000 grant for BlockWork

Local

Little League softball: Rowan drops regional final, but moves on

Education

Catawba students, grads make it out to the ballpark for summer of baseball

Education

Education briefs: RSS Teacher of the Year gets Phillip J. Kirk Scholarship

News

North Carolina requiring state health workers to get vaccine

Nation/World

Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill

News

State briefs: North Carolina woman charged after 4-year-old shoots himself

Coronavirus

Rowan County among communities where CDC recommends masks indoors

Crime

Blotter: Shooters mistakenly fire bullets into woman’s West Kerr Street house

Local

Light installation could delay Bell Tower Green opening, but formal event still set for Sept. 10

Kannapolis

Kannapolis restroom listed among top 10 in the country, vying for top spot

Business

Mixed-use development planned near Atrium Health Ballpark

Local

Little League softball: Rowan plays for regional championship, qualifies for World Series

Nation/World

CDC changes course on indoor masks in some parts of the US

Nation/World

Racism of rioters takes center stage in Jan. 6 hearing

News

State briefs: Woman accused of taking baby to break-in