Well, that was the most nerve-wracking 5-0 lead ever.
Stanford decided to start off with the “LHP who is terrible” strategy they used against us on Friday, as Logan James batting practice pitched his way through an ineffective 2/3 of an inning, giving up 4 hits and 4 runs, before ceding to Marcus Brakeman in the top of the 1st. Brakeman had to shake off some rust, and was charged with a run of his own before the 5-0 onslaught ended. Brakeman would then go on to pitch effectively, though futilely, going 90+ pitches in 5 and a third innings, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs.
Vanderbilt’s offense went with the George Bluth seduction technique of being “alternately hot and cool.” They scored 5 in the first, were horrid in the 2nd and 3rd, eked out 1 in the 4th, were absolutely dreadful in the 5th and 6th, 4 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th, and 0 in the 9th.
Though the offensive explosion’s going to make most of the headlines, I’m going the other route. Walker Buehler gave us a good effort, and if not for a 3rd inning of really odd defensive miscues by Dansby Swanson and Zander Wiel, would likely have gone a few more innings. As it was, with Buehler having to pitch out of a mountain of jams, he only managed to throw for 3 innings, and our 5-0 cake walk quickly became a 5-4 and then 6-5 stress-fest.
However, Corbin decided to remove the Stone of Shame and attach the Stone of Triumph, letting freshman Hayden Stone – The Stone Cold K-Reamer – guide us on a non-stop ride to Omaha. The K-Reamer held onto that 1 run lead with a vice grip, repeatedly giving the death stare to anyone crazy enough to step into the batter’s box, going 6 innings of 3 hit, 1 run ball, and striking out 8 in the process.
Hayden Stone, you glorious bastard.
You’re my MVP of the game, and thus the series.
Omaha, get your steaks ready. Hayden's going to drag that Stone of Triumph all the way to Nebraska!