Top Performers: CWS Day 3
We said goodbye to the first team from the College World Series, as Texas beat Louisiville 4-1 in an elimination game. The Longhorns aren't out of the rough yet, as they will face UC Irvine in another win-or-go-home game on Wednesday.
It wasn't all bad news for teams Monday, as Vanderbilt won its second game and will move into the semifinals, which start on Friday.
With that in mind, let's take a look at who came through with big performances Monday.
DANSBY SWANSON, VANDERBILT
What's a good way to score six runs? Having your leadoff hitter reach base four times is a good start. Dansby Swanson, who went 3-for-5 and also reached on a walk, scored twice, including on Zander Wiel's first-inning single that gave the Commodores a 1-0 lead. Swanson seems to enjoy hitting at TD Ameritrade Park after going 2-for-5 with two RBI in Vanderbilt's first game. "We started off with a short game a little bit and scratched some runs," Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. "And we're able to get a couple of big hits with Dansby and Zander late."
WALKER BUEHLER, VANDERBILT
Walker Buehler made his presence known Monday. After Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede struggled, Buehler came in from the bullpen to provide a big lift to the Commodores, Buehler, a sophomore, came into the game in the fourth inning and pitched the rest of the way without giving up a hit and striking out seven Anteaters. Not bad for a guy who was supposed to start the Commodores' next game. "I think the game turned around when Walker came in," Corbin said. "There was a momentum change, and he pounded the strike zone from the minute he got in there until the minute the game finished."
PARKER FRENCH, TEXAS
Talk about coming through with a big start. Junior Parker French held Louisville down for the first seven innings before running into a bit of trouble in the eighth. Up until that point, French was showing the form that made him Texas' normal Friday starter last year. For the eighth time this season, he allowed no more than one run, and tied a season high in innings pitched. French relieved heavily on his off-speed stuff to keep the Cardinal batters off-balance, a decision he made with catcher Tres Barrera during the game. "It was in the middle of the innings, third or fourth. They are an aggressive team [swinging at fastballs]. They started swinging at a lot of early fastballs. And me and Tres talked about it, might want to start mixing it up with a slider a little bit more to give them something to think about, make them uncomfortable," French said.
TRAVIS DUKE, TEXAS
When French started to falter, it was Travis Duke who came riding in to help save the day. With one out in the eighth, and Cardinals on second and third, Duke got Cole Sturgeon to ground out to second and ended the inning by striking out Nick Solak. With his performance Monday now in the books, Duke has only allowed one earned run in 28.1 innings this year and picked up his first save.