NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt Commodores weren’t quite sure what to think of themselves a few weeks ago.
They entered the NCAA tournament having lost six of their previous 11 games, but thanks to some fresh faces and some big wins, Vanderbilt is riding high and headed to the College World Series.
Vince Conde and John Norwood had three hits and two RBIs each and Vanderbilt combined for six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to beat Stanford 12-5 Sunday to advance to Omaha for the second time in program history and first since 2011.
“It was amazing,” said freshman Hayden Stone, who pitched six innings of three-hit baseball to close the game and earn the win. “Just the opportunity to be out there in that certain time. Just daydreamed about it all the time. I’m glad I got to accomplish that.”
Corbin credited Bryan Reynolds, a freshman All-American, and fellow freshmen Stone and catcher Jason Delay for their vital roles Sunday.
“You look at three of the key components today: freshmen,” he said. “Those kids do not act like freshman. They haven’t been here very long, but they fit in nicely.”
Reynolds finished 8-for-12 in the three-game series.
Corbin, who is in his 12th year guiding the Commodores, said his players have developed into a team as of late.
“I think what’s happened with the kids is that they developed an identity,” he said. “As I told them before the SEC tournament, it’s never too late, it’s never too late to develop into a team and not because we’re winning, but I think that the personalities are starting to grow together a little bit more than the beginning of the year and the middle of the year.”
Texas Tech 1, College of Charleston 0: In Lubbock, Texas, Dylan Dusek turned in his fourth consecutive scoreless start and Texas Tech advanced to the College World Series for the first time with a victory over the College of Charleston.
Dusek (8-0) worked five-plus innings, gave up three hits and walked one as Texas Tech (45-20) swept the best-of-three series with back-to-back 1-0 triumphs. Cameron Smith, Dominic Moreno and Jonny Drozd combined to work the final four innings for the Red Raiders.
“When I get home later this evening, I’m sure it will hit me,” second-year Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said.
Adam Kirsch’s RBI double in the fourth inning was the game’s lone run. It marked the Raiders’ third straight shutout in the postseason and fourth in their past five outings.
Pepperdine 3, TCU 2: In Fort Worth, Texas, Aaron Brown pitched seven scoreless innings and made a game-saving throw from center field as Pepperdine forced a deciding third game in the for a spot in the CWS.
Brandon Caruso had a pair of RBI hits and Hutton Moyer scored twice for the Waves (43-17).
Brown (13-1), the two-way player who was the West Coast Conference pitcher of the year and a third-round pick by Philadelphia on Friday, won his 10th consecutive decision. The lefty scattered five hits with four strikeouts and two walks while throwing 119 pitches against TCU (46-16).
After Brown went to center field, his strong throw home cut off the tying run to end the eighth inning.
Game 3 is Monday night.