In & around SEC baseball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

College World Series Recap

Vanderbilt defeated Virginia, 3-2, in the third game and deciding game of the College World Series’ championship series on Wednesday (June 25) in Omaha, Neb. The national title was the first in the history of Vanderbilt’s men’s athletic program. 

The game was tied entering the top of the eighth inning when Vanderbilt’s John Norwood blasted a solo home run, giving the Commodores a 3-2 lead. That one run proved to be enough, although the Cavaliers did load the bases in the bottom of the eighth.

Vanderbilt won the first game of the series, 9-8, with the ‘Dores scoring all nine runs in the third inning. Virginia nearly came back and won the game, but Adam Ravenelle pitched a perfect ninth inning to save the game for Vanderbilt.

The Cavaliers responded by winning the second game of the series, 7-2. Vandy star pitcher Tyler Beede threw five solid innings but unraveled in the sixth. Virginia took the lead for good in the sixth inning after scoring three runs on Beede.

Vanderbilt second baseman Dansby Swanson was named Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series.

Vanderbilt finished the season at 51-21, while Virginia ended up at 53-16.

Fellow SEC member Ole Miss lost to Virginia in the semifinals by a score of 4-1.

The Rebels were predicted to finish sixth in the SEC West this season, but instead they turned out to be arguably the best team in school history. Nine players from this team were taken in the recent Major League Baseball draft. Ole Miss also won 48 games this season, which tied the school record.

The Southeastern Conference now has 10 College World Series winners, the second most of any conference. Only the Pac-12 with 17 has more.

Vanderbilt joins LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia as the only SEC teams to win the College World Series. The Tigers have six national titles, while the Gamecocks have two. The Bulldogs and Commodores have one each.

Since 2008, the SEC has won four national championships in baseball and has fielded at least one team in the NCAA Tournament Championship Series each year.

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