Vanderbilt was ready to exorcise the demons of last year's Super Regional sweep at Louisville's hands. Like, 10 runs ready.
The Commodores got out to a 10-0 lead early on and held tight to take the first game of the Nashville Super Regional over Stanford on Friday afternoon. Brian Reynolds went 4-4 at the plate with three runs and a pair of RBI to lead the 'Dores to their fourth straight postseason win. Vanderbilt is now one win from returning to the College World Series.
Vandy started early, getting four runs in the first inning thanks to Stanford starter John Hochstatter's wildness on the mound. The 'Dores took a 2-0 lead without a single hit thanks to four walks and a wild pitch, and that patience set the tone for a big offensive day for the home team. John Norwood's two-out single would plate two more and give Vandy an impressive early lead.
The 'Dores added three runs apiece in the second and third innings as Hochstetter and reliever Chris Viall struggled to find the strike zone. However, Stanford wasn't going to go down easily, even facing a 10-0 deficit.
The Cardinal strung hits together in the fourth inning to close that gap to 10-2, then took advantage of a rattled Tyler Beede to make it 10-6 after five innings. Beede, who was selected 14th overall in last night's MLB Amateur Draft, allowed nine baserunners in the fourth and fifth innings as Stanford clawed back. After striking out 14 batters and allowing zero runs in his only appearance in Regional play, Beede was tagged for six earned runs in 4.2 innings on Friday.
The Vanderbilt bullpen refused to let Beede down, stepping in to shut the Cardinal down over the final 4.1 innings to secure a game one victory. Tyler Ferguson and Brian Miller combined to close the door on Stanford and leave Vandy one game away from a return engagement in Omaha. The 'Dores will return to action tomorrow afternoon at 2PM CST with a chance to punch their ticket to the College World Series.