Vanderbilt moved on to college baseball's final four thanks to a 5-1 win over #3 North Carolina in an elimination game at the College World Series. Taylor Hill's veteran performance on the mound propelled the Commodores to a rematch with #2 Florida Friday afternoon.
Hill worked seven solid innings to shut down the Tar Heels' offense, dealing 126 pitches in a gritty effort. He was aided by home runs from Connor Harrell and Curt Casali as the 'Dores jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and held on to win their second game against UNC in five days.
The Tar Heels posted their biggest threat in the fifth inning, as Hill faced a pair of bases-loaded situations that could have propelled UNC back into the game. He first retired Ben Bunting on a RBI groundout that put the Heels on the board, but then issued an intentional walk to Colin Moran to bring up red-hot Jacob Stallings. Stallings, the potential tying run, had already blasted a pair of doubles on the night, but struck out to end the inning with Hill's lead intact.
Vandy opened the scoring thanks to Tony Kemp's triple and Anthony Gomez's sacrifice fly in the first inning. Harrell pushed the lead to four runs with a three-run home run in the second - his second of the College World Series. Casali capped the Commodores' scoring with a solo shot four batters later.
With the win, Vanderbilt will face familiar foe Florida on Friday. The Gators will need just one win to advance to the World Series Finals, while Vandy will have to vanquish their SEC East rivals twice in a two-day span if they hope to play for a national title.