Clear your schedule for Wednesday night; the College World Series is going to a deciding game three.
The Virginia Cavaliers came back from an early deficit to take advantage of a sloppy Vanderbilt team and even the CWS Finals at 1-1. UVA trailed heading into the sixth inning, but their bats came alive as this game wore on to take home a 7-2 win in Omaha. Vandy SP Tyler Beede, the #18 pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, pitched well, but got little help from his defense - or his pitch count (112) - and ended up allowing six runs on the evening.
UVA starting pitcher Brandon Waddell was brilliant in his win-or-go-home performance on the mound. He allowed just five hits in a complete game to give Virginia their biggest win of the 2014 season.
Vandy started the scoring in the second when John Norwood walked, stole second (thanks in part to a shaky call from the CWS umps), and came home on Chris Harvey's RBI groundout. Virginia responded quickly, plating a runner in the next half inning thanks to a safety squeeze from leadoff batter Branden Cogswell that made it 1-1.
Vanderbilt retook the lead in the fourth when Zander Wiel reached base thanks to a UVA error and Norwood rose up once more to bring him home with a hard-hit double into the gap. The 'Dores proceeded to flub that scoring opportunity when Rhett Wiseman failed to get a bunt down to advance Norwood - who then was promptly picked off to erase Vandy's baserunners in the fourth. Chris Harvey struck out soon after to end the inning.
Virginia came back with a three-run sixth inning that relied on aggressive baserunning to keep the 'Dores on their heels. Mike Papi and Joe Fisher led off the inning with singles, leading to a pair of RBI groundouts that gave UVA a 3-2 lead. Brandon Downes then hulked up to deliver a two-out triple off center fielder Norwood's glove and make it 4-2 heading into the late innings.
The Cavaliers extended that lead in the seventh after loading the bases against a tiring Tyler Beede. Kenny Towns ripped a two-out single that pushed Virginia's lead to 6-2 and ended Beede's night - and likely his NCAA career. They added an insurance run in the ninth - but only after UVA's Mike Papi added some bad blood to this championship by trucking Tyler Campbell during a rundown on the third base line. Campbell cut his lip on the play, but should be ready to get back to work on Wednesday.
The two teams will meet tomorrow night in the game that will decide this year's NCAA Champions. With Tyler Ferguson having thrown one inning of relief, the 'Dores will likely turn to Carson Fulmer, who threw 90 pitches on Saturday against Texas, to start in the biggest game in Vanderbilt history. That game starts at 7PM CST.