In & around SEC baseball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

NCAA College World Series

Vanderbilt and Virginia both started out the College World Series with two victories each. The Commodores and the Cavaliers are each one win away from meeting in the championship series. 

Top Bracket

Vanderbilt defeated Louisville, 5-3, in its first game. Commodore pitcher Carson Fulmer picked up the win, tossing 7.1 innings while striking out six batters while only allowing two runs. Dansby Swanson doubled in two runs for Vanderbilt. 

In their second game, the Commodores played UC-Irvine, who defeated Texas, 3-1. 

Helped by a brilliant performance from relief pitcher Walker Buehler, Vanderbilt won, 6-4. Buehler pitched 5.1 no-hit innings in relief of starter Tyler Beede. 

In the loser bracket, Texas defeated Louisville, 4-1. The Cardinals were ousted in two games at the College World Series for the second consecutive season. 

In a rematch of the opening game in Omaha, Texas defeated UC-Irvine, 1-0. The Longhorns take on Vanderbilt on Friday, June 20. Vanderbilt only has to defeat Texas once, while the Longhorns must defeat the Commodores twice in order to advance to the championship series. 

Bottom Bracket

Every game thus far in the bottom bracket has been decided by one run, and all have been low-scoring affairs. In the opening round, TCU edged Texas Tech, 3-2, and Virginia slipped by Ole Miss, 2-1. 

The Cavaliers defeated the Rebels on a RBI walk-off double by Mike Papi with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Ole Miss tied the game in the top of the eighth but could not muster another run in the ninth. 

The Rebels were forced to play an elimination game against Texas Tech, and another pitcher’s duel ensued. Ole Miss led the game 1-0 entering the ninth inning, but the Red Raiders tied the game after two stolen bases and a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the ninth, senior pinch-hitter John Gatlin hit a walk-off RBI single to give the Rebels a 2-1 victory. 

Virginia and TCU met in the winner’s bracket, and the two teams played for 15 innings before the Cavaliers narrowly defeated the Horned Frogs, 3-2. Virginia plays the winner of TCU and Ole Miss on Friday.

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