OMAHA, Neb. – Virginia’s hot hitting continued in Game Two of the 2014 College World Series Finals, as the Cavaliers defeated Vanderbilt, 7-2, to tie the series at one-all on Monday.
With the win, Virginia (53-15) forced a Game Three in the series and brought its CWS Finals’ hit total to 28 combined over the last two games. Vanderbilt (50-21) will look to rebound in the series finale.
Both squads are searching for their first NCAA Championship in baseball.
Virginia’s Brandon Waddell tossed his second complete game of the season, scattering five hits and allowing two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts for the win. It was his first career nine-inning complete game, as he was credited with the stat in a six-inning performance earlier in the season.
Vanderbilt jumped ahead early, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. John Norwood drew a one-out walk before finding his way to third on a stolen base and Rhett Wiseman’s single up the middle. Chris Harvey’s infield single brought Norwood home.
Virginia tied the game (1-1) in its half of the third, using two hits and a well-placed squeeze bunt to score Brandon Downes.
Downes singled to the pitcher with one out in the inning, and after wheeling to third on Robbie Coman’s infield hit, dashed home when Branden Cogswell’s bunt rolled deep down the first base line.
The advantage again tilted Vanderbilt’s way in the fourth, when Zander Wiel scored on Norwood’s double to right center, making it 2-1.
Once again, though, the Cavaliers rebounded in the fifth by putting together a three-run inning and grabbing the lead.
Mike Papi sparked the offense in the fifth with a leadoff single to right, reaching third on Joe McCarthy’s single. Papi scored to tie the game when Derek Fisher grounded into a fielder’s choice.
With one out, Fisher stole second to move into scoring position, and slid to third as Kenny Towns singled
to left. Another groundout followed, scoring Fisher to give the Cavaliers their first lead of the day.
Downes tripled to right center in the next at-bat, plating Towns and extending Virginia’s lead to two, 4-2.
The fireworks continued in the seventh, when Virginia tacked on another two runs before chasing Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede from the game. Towns had the timely hit in the inning, lacing a two-out, 2-0 pitch into left field that scored Papi and McCarthy.
Beede (8-8) finished with 6.2 innings thrown, 10 hits and six runs (all earned), striking out four while being tagged for the loss.
Virginia added more insurance in the ninth, scoring McCarthy on John La Prise’s single up the middle, making it 7-2.
Waddell allowed two base runners in the bottom of the ninth, but used a groundout at second to finish the game.
This is the first CWS Finals that will reach the third game since the tournament moved to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in 2011, with the previous three-game series coming in 2009 at Rosenblatt Stadium.
The winner-take-all championship game is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. CDT.