Virginia Defeats Vanderbilt 3–0 to Force Deciding Game 3 in College World Series Finals

Thomas Woodruff, a senior for the Virginia Cavaliers, had just 67 career at-bats headed into the 2015 College World Series. He went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Cavaliers to a 3–0 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores to tie the three-game College World Series Championship Series at one game apiece, forcing a decisive game three Wednesday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

Freshman left-hander Adam Haseley, who made four starts for Virginia during the regular season, got the start for the Cavaliers in a somewhat surprising move over experienced veterans such as Nathan Kirby, Josh Sborz, and Brandon Waddell. Despite some control issues (3 walks to one strikeout), Haseley stifled the Vanderbilt bats, holding them to just four hits over five shutout innings. Sborz came in to relieve Haseley and had no issue continuing the solid pitching, tossing four shutout innings of his own to close out the victory.

Woodruff’s two-RBI single in the 6th inning helped break open the game for Virginia, which had not scored a run prior to the three-run frame. Pavin Smith’s single started the rally after two outs opened the inning, and after another single and an error, Ernie Clement singled in Smith before Woodruff knocked in the remaining baserunners.

For Vanderbilt, no player in the dangerous Commodore lineup managed more than one hit. Philip Pfiefer pitched very well on the mound for Vanderbilt, striking out six over 5.2 innings, allowing three unearned runs and walking one. However, the Cavaliers’ pitching was too much for Vanderbilt, marking only the second time they have been shut out this season. The only other time was against Alabama on the final day of the regular season.

The decisive game three will be played at 8:00 PM EST at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on Wednesday, June 24. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Los Angeles Dodgers’ first round draft pick Walker Buehler is expected to start for Vanderbilt, though starting pitchers have yet to be formally announced.

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