Carson Fulmer walked off the mound, likely for the final time in a Vanderbilt uniform, to a standing ovation from the Commodore faithful after yet another dominant performance on the mound. The first-round pick of the Chicago White Sox left the game with runners on first and second in the eighth inning, but only gave up two hits and two hit batters with eight strikouts in 7.2 innings on the mound.
Neither offense could get anything going for most of the first half of the game, but Vandy found paydirt in the sixth inning off of Virginia’s ace Connor Jones. Will Toffey doubled down the left-field line to score Bryan Reynolds and Zander Wiel for the first two runs of the National Championship Series. Two runs would be all Vandy would need, though they played add-on in the seventh. Ro Coleman singled up the middle to score catcher Karl Ellison, then Dansby Swanson and Reynolds followed with an RBI double and an RBI single respectively to break the game open at 5-0.
In the loss, Jones pitched 6.1 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six. The Cavaliers ace had a good four pitch mix that kept Vanderbilt hitters off-balance for much of the game though he was forced to throw a lot of pitches. In the sixth inning he was approaching 100 pitches and started leaving the ball up and over the plate.
Setting the tone at the plate for the Commodores was Swanson, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Reynolds who was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, and Toffey who had the two-run double to open the scoring.
Virginia did scratch a run across in the ninth inning off of Vanderbilt’s closer, as Kyle Wright struggled to finish the Cavaliers. Kenny Towns singled through the left side to open the inning and moved up to second on a wild pitch before pinch hitter, Jack Gerstenmaier, singled him home to end the shut out. Wright settled down after the single and a walk to strand runners on first and second to end the game 5-1.
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