February 13, 2016

Home Run Derby coming to Omaha on Thursday

The ball players are coming back to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha one more time on Thursday for the College Home Run Derby. Rice’s Michael Aquino, the defending champ in this event will return as will the Big 12’s leader in home run, Eric Gutierrez of Texas Tech. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids or a four pack for $36 and it starts at 7pm Thursday.

Also participating in the event:  Texas freshman Tres Barrera, Ole Miss junior Sikes Orvis, who both return where their teams competed for a CWS title.  The other participants are Richmond’s Matt Dacey, Arizona’s Bobby Dalbec, Oklahoma’s Hunter Haley and Ohio State’s Zach Ratcliff.

Vandy wins the College World Series on a go-ahead homer in the eighth

Inserted in the lineup as Vanderbilt’s No. 4 cleanup hitter, junior centerfielder John Norwood hit a game-winning home run as the Commodores beat Virginia 3-2 for its first national title in a men’s sport and just the second in school history.  Norwood came into Game 3 with seven hits in the College World Series, including two each in three of the past four games. He responded with three hits Wednesday and scored two of Vanderbilt’s three runs. His 10 hits tied for the CWS high with teammate Dansby Swanson, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

Norwood’s line shot into the Virginia bullpen over the left-field wall was just his third of the season, coming on a  97 mph fastball from Virginia closer Nick Howard.  Norwood finished the CWS Finals with five hits, three RBI and three runs scored. He either led or tied the CWS lead in hits (10), runs (5), RBI (6), total bases (14), home runs (1) and stolen bases (4).

Virginia had to change their game plan around after a 26-pitch first inning for starter Josh Sborz, who walked two batters and gave up two hits and a run to fall behind 1-0.  Virginia coach Brian O’Connor made the call to bring in his setup guy Artie Lewicki to start the second, despite the first run scoring on a throwing error by catcher Robbie Coman on a double steal.  Lewicki saw his scoreless streak snapped at 32.1 innings by Vanderbilt’s unearned run in the sixth; overall he pitched 22 innings in the NCAA tournament and 11.2 in the CWS.

Virginia managed to tie the game up at 2-2 and in the eighth had a rally of their own.  With the first two runners on, Virginia chose to lay down a sacrifice bunt to get them to second and third. Two batters later, the bases were loaded but a come-backer to the pitcher got an out at home and the inning ended on a fielder’s choice.

Virginia forces a third and final winner take all game at the CWS

Starting pitcher Brandon Waddell held Vanderbilt to five hits in his first nine-inning complete game, as Virginia knocked out first-round draft pick Tyler Beede in the seventh inning, as the Cavaliers evened the College World Series Finals with a 7-2 victory on Tuesday night.  Each team will be playing for its first national title in baseball on Wednesday night.

The sophomore lefty Waddell retired 12 in a row starting from the fifth through eight innings before giving up a walk with two outs in the ninth.  The Cavaliers turned a 2-1 deficit entering the sixth inning into a 6-2 lead at the end of the seventh.  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. Virginia has a total of 15 runs and 28 hits the last two games.

Beede looked sharp early for Vandy, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. The 14th overall draft pick by the San Francisco Giants left with two outs in the seventh after allowing six runs on 10 hits and three walks.

Vandy scores nine in the third and holds off Virginia

Vanderbilt scored the most runs in a half inning in the history of four-year-old TD Ameritrade Park, by scoring nine times, then held of several Virginia threats for a 9-8 win in game one of  the championship series of the College World Series.

Three Vanderbilt pitchers were in and out of trouble as the Cavaliers whittled down a seven-run deficit — Virginia had 15 hits in the game, 11 after the Commodores had put up their nine-spot — but didn’t allow the lead to get away from them.

The Cavaliers grabbed a 2-0 lead against Vanderbilt starter Walker Buehler in the first, scored three runs in the bottom of the third after the first two batters had been retired on a hit by pitch and four consecutive singles. Virginia left nine runners on base, including two each in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and the tying run on third after getting within a run in the eighth.

Jared Miller got the win for Vandy with two innings of relief. He allowed five hits and two runs after Buehler was charged with eight hits and five runs in three innings. Miller allowed the first two batters he faced to reach in the fourth, but got the middle of the Cavalier order out.

Day six CWS: Ole Miss moves on as TCU is eliminated

TCU battled back to tie the game twice  after Ole Miss grabbed a lead, but the Rebels put the game away late surviving their second “must win” game with a 6-4 win Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

Ole Miss took a 3-0 lead in the third inning only to see the Horned Frogs score three in the fourth frame as TCU sent a 2014 CWS-high nine hitters to the plate. The Rebels then took a 4-3 lead in the fifth yet TCU tied it up with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Ole Miss added runs in the seventh and ninth to seal the victory.

Ole Miss used four pitchers to hold down TCU, which entered the game hitting just .238 in the NCAA tournament.  The Horned Frogs went 1-for-8 overall with runners in scoring position and 0-for-2 with the bases loaded.  The Rebels’ bullpen allowed only one hit, one run, three walks and struck out six in 5.2 innings.

Now UM will face Virginia at 7 p.m. CT Friday.