OMAHA, Neb. — Brandon Waddell limited Vanderbilt to five hits in his first nine-inning complete game, Virginia knocked out first-round draft pick Tyler Beede in the seventh, and the Cavaliers evened the College World Series finals with a 7-2 victory Tuesday night.
Each team will be playing for its first national title in baseball in the winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Virginia (53-15) forced the third game after Vanderbilt (50-21) rode a nine-run third inning to a 9-8 victory in the opener.
Waddell (10-3), who pitched a solid seven innings with no decision against TCU a week ago, was even better against the Commodores. He didn’t allow a hit in the fifth through eighth innings and retired 12 in a row before he issued a walk with two outs in the ninth.
His first official complete game came in a six-inning, rain-shortened game against Monmouth in March.
Kenny Towns and John La Prise drove in two runs apiece, and the Cavaliers finished with 13 hits against Beede (8-8) and three relievers.
The Cavaliers turned a 2-1 deficit entering the sixth inning into a 6-2 lead at the end of the seventh.
Brandon Downes drove in Virginia’s third run of the sixth when his fly ball to center glanced off the heel of John Norwood’s glove for a triple. Towns’ third two-out single of the game brought in two more runs in the seventh.
Through five innings, Beede had limited the Cavaliers to one run on three hits and two walks, looking as sharp as he has all season.
The 14th overall draft pick by the San Francisco Giants had been struggling with his control and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in his previous CWS start against UC Irvine.
He left with two outs in the seventh after allowing six runs on 10 hits and three walks.
Vanderbilt third baseman Tyler Campbell sustained a mouth cut when Mike Papi put a hard shoulder into him as he was tagged out during a ninth-inning rundown. After Papi jogged back to his dugout, Vanderbilt fans chanted “Throw him out!” Papi stayed in the game.
The Cavaliers will be playing for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first national title in baseball since Wake Forest in 1955.
Vanderbilt will be going for the Southeastern Conference’s fourth championship in six years.