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Vanderbilt kept their pursuit of a College World Series title alive on Wednesday and defeated Stanford in a wild fashion.
The Commodores entered the ninth inning of the elimination game against the Cardinals down one run. With two runners on base and two outs, Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled home Javier Vaz to tie the game. The hit moved Spencer Jones to third base and all Vandy needed was another hit to win the ball game.
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But they got something far more exciting.
Stanford pitcher Brendan Beck, the reigning Pac-12 pitcher of the year, would try to send the game into extra innings with pressure mounting. Is first pitch was a ball to Carter Jones. The next pitch got away from Beck and he completely missed the catcher.
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Jones raced home and gave the Commodores the 6-5 victory.
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“We’ve done some crazy things this year, down in the last inning, two outs,” Bradfield said. “Nobody’s on to start the inning. We get to two outs, we get a baserunner, another base hit follows. So we knew it was always possible.”
Vanderbilt was down 5-2 to start the bottom of the sixth inning. The team cut the lead to 5-4 thanks to a two-run home run from Dominic Keegan.
“We just had to tie it up,” Vandy coach Tim Corbin said. “So good for the kids. They didn’t back down. They’ve been tough. They’ve showed a lot of resiliency and played a lot of one-run games — regional, super regional, tonight. So nothing’s been easy for the group.”
Vanderbilt is the defending College World Series champions. They won the tournament in 2019 and were unable to defend their title in 2020 due to the pandemic.
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The Commodores will play N.C. State on Friday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.