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Vanderbilt kept his quest for a College World Series title alive on Wednesday, savagely defeating Stanford.
The Commodores entered the ninth inning of the elimination game against the Cardinals with one run. With two runners on base and two outs, Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled out Javier Vaz at home to tie the game. The hit put Spencer Jones on third base and all Vandy needed was another hit to win the ball game.
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Stanford pitcher Brendan Beck, the reigning Pac-12 pitcher of the year, would try to send the game into extra innings as the pressure built up. His first throw was a ball for Carter Jones. The next pitch went away from Beck and he missed the catcher completely.
Jones raced home and gave the Commodores a 6-5 win.
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“We did some crazy things this year, down in the last inning, two outs,” said Bradfield. “Nobody is about to start the inning. We get two outs, we get a baserunner, another base hit follows.
Vanderbilt was down 5-2 to start the end of the sixth inning. The team reduced the lead to 5-4 thanks to a double home run by Dominic Keegan.
“We just had to tie it,” said Vandy coach Tim Corbin. “So good for the kids. They didn’t give in. They were tough. They showed a lot of resilience and played a lot of one-run games – regional, super regional, tonight. So nothing was easy for the group.”
Vanderbilt is the defending champion of the College World Series. They won the 2019 tournament and were unable to defend their title in 2020 due to the pandemic.
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The Commodores will play NC State on Friday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.