Vanderbilt erased another deficit against NC State, but it wasn't enough as the Wolfpack came back to win Sunday's matchup and force a Regional-defining game on Monday.
The 'Dores trailed 5-1 before coming back to tie things at 5-5 in the seventh inning, but Matt Bergquist's RBI single in the eighth proved to be the deciding run in a 6-5 ballgame. The win was NC State's second of the day and ensured that they'd extend their season to Monday. The winner of tomorrow's rubber match will move on to face the winner of the Gainesville Regional next week.
A pair of home runs got the Wolfpack off to a hot start on Sunday. Ryan Mathews opened up the scoring with a solo shot in the first inning, while Trae Turner's high fly ball caught a jet stream and landed just over the left field fence to put NC State up 3-0 in the third inning. Vandy got a run back half an inning later thanks to Spencer Navin's sacrifice fly, but the Wolfpack responded with runs in each of the next two innings to push their lead to 5-1.
However, the 'Dores refused to be put away early. Mike Yastrzemski's RBI triple ended up accounting for two Commodore runs in the top of the sixth, but the team left runners in scoring position with just one out to end their threat. They would tie the game one frame later thanks to a RBI groundout from Yaz and a clutch two-out double from Anthony Gomez, but their scoring would stop there.
NC State once again found themselves on the wrong end of some late-inning momentum, but unlike Saturday night, they were able to adjust. After a baserunning error killed a Commodore rally in the top of the 8th, Bergquist's single gave the Wolfpack the margin of victory that they needed to force Monday's game.
Drew VerHagen picked up the loss for Vandy despite throwing four innings of quality work out of the bullpen. Ryan Wilkins took the win for NC State. It's likely that Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin will turn to freshman Tyler Beede for Monday's game after exhausting most of his starting pitching already in this Regional. Beede is an exciting, but unproven, talent who will be looking to build his name on a hot start in the NCAA Tournament.