Things didn't look good. In fact, they got downright ugly. Of course, ugly is just the kind of game the Diamond 'Dores love.
Vanderbilt rallied from a 8-3 deficit in the final two innings to shock top-seeded North Carolina State 9-8. The win puts the Commodores in the Regional finals, where they'll have to defeat the winner of NC State and UNC-Wilmington in order to move on to a Super Regional.
Vandy led early thanks to a Jack Lupo double and an Andrew Harris RBI bunt, but they couldn't make their 1-0 lead hold up as the 'Dores squandered scoring opportunities throughout the early stages of the game. Vanderbilt had stranded eight baserunners over the first five innings, and it appeared that the Wolfpack were going to make them pay.
Sam Selman struggled with his control, leading to a three-run sixth inning that put NC State in control, 4-1. They would pull out to leads of 6-1 and 8-3 before Vanderbilt's Rally Beaver could work his magic and turn things around.
Riley Reynolds started things off in the eighth with a RBI double, but the rally seemed to end there when Mike Yastrzemski went down swingint to make the third out of the inning. However, a wild pitch allowed him to reach first and gave the 'Dores a new lease on life. They didn't disappoint.
An Anthony Gomez single scored Reynolds, and Conrad Gregor's follow-up double plated Yaz. Gomez and Gregor would then score on a wild pitch and throwing error, knotting the game at eight all. Jared Miller pitched around a double in the top of the ninth, setting the stage for some late game heroics. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Connor Castellano on second, Tony Kemp delivered a bloop single that sent NC State to the loser's bracket and continued Vanderbilt's storybook run through the toughest part of their schedule.
Vandy will now await the winner of tomorrow's showdown between State and UNC-Wilmington. If they can win that matchup, they'll head to their third straight Super Regional under Tim Corbin, extending their school-record streak.