Swanson's ninth-inning homer lifts Commodores
It wasn't a walk-off homer, but it felt every bit as dramatic as one for Dansby Swanson and his Vanderbilt teammates.
the top-seeded Commodores locked in a tie game with No. 3-seeded
Indiana in the Nashville Regional on Saturday night, Swanson connected
for a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to help send Vanderbilt to
a 6-4 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,626 at Hawkins Field.
Kyle Wright pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the win for the
Commodores, who were designated as the "visiting" team.
Commodores, the defending national champions, are now one win away from
advancing to the Super Regionals. Vanderbilt (44-19) will play for the
Regional title on Sunday night at 7 p.m. against the winner of Sunday
afternoon's Radford-Indiana game that begins at 3 p.m. The winner of
the afternoon contest will have to beat Vanderbilt twice to advance.
(The if-necessary game is scheduled for Monday night).
who is projected by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming
major league draft, showed on Saturday why his stock is so high.
hitting the tie-breaking homer, which was his 14th of the season, he
made a dazzling defensive play in the bottom of the ninth. Swanson
finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base in
Rhett Wiseman went 3-for-5 with two runs scored
and Bryan Reynolds added two hits to help fuel Vanderbilt's 11-hit
attack. Will Toffey drove in two runs for the Commodores.
trio of Vanderbilt pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts in the win. The
Commodores have now recorded 26 strikeouts in the first two games of
Vanderbilt starter Philip Pfeifer worked
six innings, allowing four runs on five hits and recording 10
strikeouts. Reliever Ben Bowden earned the victory with two scoreless
innings of one-hit ball, finishing with four strikeouts and one walk.
Wright then pitched a clean ninth inning, with one strikeout, to earn
the save, his second.
Craig Dedelow was 2-for-4 with
three RBIs for the Hoosiers, who jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after
scoring two runs in the first inning and another in the second.
rallied for four runs in the third, highlighted by Toffey's two-run
double, to grab a 4-3 lead. After the first three batters of the inning
reached base, Zander Wiel drove in the Commodores' first run with a
groundout. Toffey followed with his two-run double, and Jeren Kedall
capped the scoring with an RBI single.
Indiana tied the
game in the sixth on a run-scoring infield single by Dedelow. Indiana
catcher Brad Hartong, who finished 2-for-3, led off the inning with a
single and eventually came around to score on Dedelow's slow grounder.
teams stayed tied for the next two innings until Swanson delivered his
blast in the ninth. The Vanderbilt dugout -- and the Commodore crowd --
exploded when the ball cleared the fence, and Swanson enthusiastically
clapped his hands as he rounded the bases.
shot was Vanderbilt's 59th homer of the season -- 37 more than last
season -- and the Commodores improved to 29-7 in games in which they
hit at least one long ball.