An extra day of rest did Radford no good. Vanderbilt jumped all over Highlander starter Mitchell McKeith and didn't let up until any chance of late-inning drama had been erased and blown off the table like unsettled dust. The Commodores rushed out to a 20-0 lead in the first five innings and booked their ticket to the Super Regional before this game was even halfway over.
Every Commodore but Will Toffey had recorded at least two hits before the sixth inning began and Walker Buehler twirled five shutout innings to end the Highlanders' first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Buehler struck out seven batters to keep Radford scoreless, but the headline of this game was his team's offense.
Vandy blasted off to a 3-0 lead when Zander Wiel tripled home Ro Coleman and Dansby Swanson and came home two batters later on a Will Toffey sacrifice fly. Rhett Wiseman made it 5-0 one inning later with a two-run home run. One inning later, two errors, a hit batter, and a bases-loaded walk pushed that lead to six and started the sunset on Radford's Super Regional hopes.
By the time Buehler gave up a hit, Vanderbilt already led this ballgame 10-0. They busted that lead wide open with a seemingly never-ending fifth inning that saw three walks, two hit batters, an error, two home runs, three Radford pitchers, and 10 Commodore runs. If you're a masochist, check out the official box score from the top of the fifth, courtesy of VUCommodores.com:
Vanderbilt advances to face #6 Illinois in Champaign next weekend. The Illini tore through the Big Ten this season with a 21-1 league record and a 27-game winning streak. However, they showed vulnerability in the league tournament when they went 2-2 in the first round of the postseason. That didn't last - Illinois swept through their Regional - but it could be the blueprint that Corbin follows to get Vandy back to the College World Series.