Game 14 Summary: Vanderbilt v. Virginia

Vanderbilt moved within one game of claiming back-to-back national championships at the 2015 College World Series, defeating Virginia, 5-1, in game one of the CWS Finals at TD Ameritrade Park.

The first CWS Finals game to remain scoreless through five innings in the current best-of-three format (since 2003), Vanderbilt broke the scoreless tie with situational hitting in the sixth behind Will Toffey’s two-out, two-RBI double.

Zander Wiel started the rally with a two-out single, and after a walk from Bryan Reynolds, Toffey took the first pitch he saw down the left field line to score Wiel and Reynolds.

VU extended the lead in the seventh with three more runs in the seventh. An RBI single from Ro Coleman drove in Karl Ellison for the first run of the inning to chase UVa starter Connor Jones from the game. Later in the inning with two outs, Dansby Swanson had his first extra base hit of the CWS with an RBI double into the right field corner, plating Coleman from first. After Wiel was intentionally walked, Swanson came around to score as Reynolds singled to right center on a full count, making it 5-0 in the Commodores’ favor.

Down to its last chance in the ninth, Virginia struck for one run but couldn’t complete the comeback. Kenny Towns started the inning with a single through the left side before moving to second on a one-out wild pitch. Pinch hitter Jack Gerstenmaier had UVa’s lone RBI of the day with a single up the middle to score Towns, and Joe McCarthy walked to put two Cavaliers on base, but VU pitcher Kyle Wright got a strikeout and flyout to end the threat.

VU’s Carson Fulmer (14-2) gave up just two hits over 7.2 innings thrown, leaving the game in the eighth with eight strikeouts and two walks allowed. Ben Bowden finished the eighth before Wright threw the ninth for the Commodores in the victory.

Fulmer was the first pitcher since USC’s Jim Withers in 1960 and 1961 to start consecutive CWS Finals games. Connor Jones (7-3) started the game for the Cavaliers and was tagged for the loss after 6.2 innings pitched.

Kevin Doherty and David Rosenberger combined to throw the final 2.1 innings for UVa.