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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.
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
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.
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.
(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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