Vanderbilt baseball is headed back to a Super Regional, thanks to Walker Buehler and some clutch hitting.
Buehler pitched a complete-game gem and the 'Dores won their first walk-off victory of the season to advance to the NCAA Super Regional next week. Ro Coleman's RBI single brought home Zander Wiel and lifted the Commodores to baseball's sweet sixteen. The 'Dores went 3-0 in their Regional to extend their season and take another step towards the College World Series
Oregon took little time to get on the board, using a pair of singles and a pair of sacrifices to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Vandy struck back in the third inning when Dansby Swanson's double brought Nolan Rogers home from first base. Swanson would advance to third on an ensuing wild pitch, but the Commodores missed out on a scoring opportunity when freshman Bryan Reynolds struck out in the next at-bat.
The Ducks responded by stringing together three straight singles in the fifth inning to retake the lead, 2-1. It stayed that way until the eighth, when the 'Dores #Vanderbunted their way to a runner in scoring position, then capitalized on a U of O error to plate the tying run when Reynolds beat out what could have been an inning-ending double play. Buehler rolled back to the mound for the ninth inning and threw heat - including a 95 mph fastball 110 pitches into the evening - to give Tim Corbin's boys a chance to post their first walk-off win of the season.
The raucous home crowd seemed to rattle Oregon's pitchers in the ninth. Garrett Cleavinger started the inning by walking Zander Wiel, and closer Jake Reed followed that up with a wild pitch and a plunked batter to set the 'Dores up for success. Rhett Wiseman proved that the fates were on Vandy's side with a foul-line defying bunt that loaded the bases with zero outs, and Ro Coleman played the hero one batter later by slapping an single through the infield that scored the game's winning run.
Vanderbilt did not lead in the game until the final play of the Regional. Buehler's final line - in his greatest effort as a Commodore - accounted for nine innings, eight strikeouts, and just seven baserunners.
With the win, Vanderbilt will advance to face the winner of tomorrow's matchup between Stanford and Indiana. If the Hoosiers win, they'll head up to Bloomington for the Super Regional. If the Cardinal are victorious, they'll host the round-of-16 matchup. Vandy swept Stanford at home back in the third week of the season.