NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Aaron Westlake hit three two-run home runs to lead Vanderbilt to a 9-3 victory against Oregon State on Saturday night as the Commodores clinched their first trip to the College World Series.
The first baseman, drafted in the third round by the Tigers, became the first Commodores player to hit three home runs in a game in 20 years and Vanderbilt (52-10) swept the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series.
Anthony Gomez knocked in two runs with a single — his fourth hit of the game — in the sixth to make it 5-2 and Westlake followed with a two-run shot to right-center field.
Parker Berberet led Oregon State (41-19) with two RBIs and Carter Bell hit a solo home run in the eighth.
|Road to Omaha: Super Regionals|
|Interactive Bracket | Scoreboard|
|Super Regional Schedule|
|Box Score: Vanderbilt 9, Oregon St. 3|
Vanderbilt’s Will Clinard (2-2) pitched 4 2-3 innings in relief, working around a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth. Beavers reliever Scott Schultz (4-1) allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Jason Esposito.
Clinard struck out Berberet for the final out as the Vanderbilt dugout cleared in a hurry and the celebration ensued in front of a wild crowd of 3,387.
Vanderbilt heads to Omaha having won 11 of 12. The Commodores were playing in their third Super Regional and second straight. They never trailed in the series and in five NCAA tournament games, they have outscored opponents 46-6.
They jumped out in front in the first inning when Westlake hit a line-drive home run to right field.
Oregon State, which lost Friday’s opener 11-1, battled back as Berberet knocked in the first run in the first on a two-out single.
He then tied it in the third on a sacrifice fly.
Vanderbilt regained the lead in the fifth. With starter Ben Wetzler out, the Commodores chipped away at Schultz. He gave up a double and two walks to load the bases with one out.
Esposito smacked a soft fly ball into shallow left field that landed between three players as left fielder Garrett Nash and shortstop Ryan Dunn collided.
Center fielder Brian Stamps threw to second for the force out but Gomez trotted into home easily.
The Beavers squandered their best chance to go in front in the bottom of the fifth.
Down 3-2, they put runners on first and second with one out against Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year Grayson Garvin.
Clinard entered and proceeded to throw a wild pitch and walk the bases loaded. But Bell struck out and Jake Rodriguez popped up to shallow right field to end the inning.