College World Series: Vanderbilt staves off elimination with walk-off wild pitch against Stanford


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The night of college baseball in Omaha ended in dramatic fashion, leaving one of the favorites of the tournament alive. It was an elimination game between Stanford and Vanderbilt, the latter considered one of the favorites heading into the College World Series along with Texas. Vanderbilt would survive with a 6-5 victory, but that score doesn’t nearly do justice to how things unfolded Wednesday night. 

Stanford led pretty much the entire game. The Cardinal put up a run in the first inning and added one in the third and two in the fourth for a 4-0 lead. Vandy would get two back in the fourth, but then Stanford increased the lead to 5-2 with a run in the sixth. Vanderbilt would respond with a two-run rally in the sixth, but that still meant a 5-4 Stanford lead. 

That’s what the scoreboard would show heading to the ninth as Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Brendan Beck recorded the first two outs of the inning with relative ease. And then things got crazy. 

Javier Vaz drew a walk, working his way there after falling behind in the count. Spencer Jones pinch hit and grabbed an infield single by hitting it in the 5.5 gap. Stanford shortstop Adam Crampton attempted to make the play, but the throw was already a bit late and it got away from first baseman Nick Brueser. That allowed Vaz to advance to third base. Enrique Bradfield Jr. followed with a clean single to left and the game was tied with the winning run just 90 feet away at third base. 

And then, Beck uncorked a rare wild pitch at the worst possible time. 

And just like that, Vanderbilt won with its first lead of the game. The Commodores stay alive. 

The double-elimination bracket now has Vanderbilt (one loss so far) against N.C. State (zero losses) vying for a trip to the finals. They’ll square off Friday and if Vanderbilt wins, they’ll do it again Saturday. 

The bottom of the bracket has Virginia and Texas playing an elimination game Thursday for the chance to meet 2-0 Mississippi State Friday. 

Stanford joins Arizona and Tennessee as having been eliminated to this point. 

More to track…

Bulletin Observer Sports News

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