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Vandy rallies to down Pack

Commodores score eight runs over final three innings


Raleigh, N.C. – Vanderbilt rallied from a five-run deficit to stun No. 16 North Carolina State with a 9-8 walk-off win Saturday night at Doak Field.


The Commodores (35-26) were designated the home team prior to the game and the Dores made it work to their advantage. Vandy scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game and set up the ninth inning for heroics. Freshman Connor Castellano singled up the middle with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. A groundout to second base by Riley Reynolds moved Castellano to third base with two outs for Tony Kemp. The Dores’ second baseman was one for his last 20 at-bats and 0-for-3 on the night but the sophomore delivered in a big way, singling to center field to give the team its 15th comeback win of the season.


Vanderbilt trailed 8-3 entering the eighth inning before batting around and rallying for five runs to draw even. Castellano reached base with one out after being hit by a pitch and came around to score on Reynolds’ double. Kemp flew out to center and Mike Yastrzemski looked to have ended the inning when he struck out swinging. But the ball bounced away from North Carolina State (40-18) catcher Danny Canela and allowed Yastrzemski to reach first base and Reynolds to third. The Commodores immediately took advantage of the break with Gomez driving in a run with a single and bring the tying run to the plate. Conrad Gregor kept the rally going, lacing a ground rule double down the right field line to score Yastrzemski. With runners on second and third, the Wolfpack turned to Chris Overman. The right-hander bounced a wild pitch that rolled up the first base line allowing Gomez to score from third. Canela’s throw to Overman covering home sailed wide allowing Gregor to score all the way from second base and tie the game.


The Dores took an early lead in the second inning off NC State starter Carlos Rodon. Andrew Harris dropped down a safety squeeze bunt with two strikes to score Jack Lupo from third. Vandy missed out on several scoring opportunities eight runners on base over the first five innings. The Wolfpack battled back in the fifth to tie the game and took the lead in the sixth with three more runs to chase Vandy starter Sam Selman. Back-to-back RBI-singles in the seventh added to the Pack lead before Ryan Mathews’ two-run homer in the eighth appeared to put the Commodores away.


Vanderbilt pounded out 10 hits on the night putting runners on base in all but two frames. Gomez and Gregor each had two hits to lead the way with eight different Commodores contributing at least one hit. Six different Dores drove in at least one run and seven scored at least one run. Gomez moved into sole possession of fifth place all-time with 265 hits in his career. Mathews and Jake Fincher posted a game-high three hits apiece to pace the Pack’s 13-hit attack.


Jared Miller (3-0) earned the win in relief for VU working 1.1 scoreless innings. Overman (0-1) took the loss for NC State giving up Kemp’s game-winning hit in the ninth. Selman allowed four runs on six hits and a career-high five walks over 5.1 innings. The four runs were the most the lefty had allowed since March 11 against San Diego spanning 11 outings. The run the Wolfpack scored in the fifth snapped Selman’s scoreless innings streak at 15.2 innings. Rodon, the ACC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, gave up three runs on five hits and five walks with six strikeouts over 6.2 innings. The NC State bullpen allowed six runs on five hits over the final two innings.



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