Top Performers: CWS Day 8
Virginia, in the College World Series for the third time, will go to the championship round against Vanderbilt for its first national championship in baseball. The Cavaliers defeated Ole Miss 4-1 on Saturday -- the conclusion of the previous night's suspended game -- to earn the first 2014 CWS Finals berth. Likewise, Vanderbilt will be competing for its first baseball championship. The Commodores(49-20)outlasted Texas 4-3 in 10 innings on Saturday night.
For the Cavaliers and Commodores, the final bracket-play games were microcosms of their seasons: pitching and timely hitting led to victory.
Robbie Coman, Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia, which had been batting .091 in the CWS with runners in scoring position, took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning after loading the bases. Robbie Coman, making his 26th start, drove a single into right field for two runs, and another came home on Branden Cogswell's squeeze bunt. “I'm sure I was a little nervous to start,” Coman said. “You get second opportunities in this game and I really wanted to take advantage of it. But I was just trying to hit to the situation. Wasn't trying to do too much, just a usable pitch that I could send somewhere in the outfield and it worked out for the best.”
Hayden Stone, Vanderbilt
Freshman Hayden Stone (3-0) struck out eight in 5.2 innings of relief as Vanderbilt defeated Texas 4-3 in 10 innings. Tyler Campbell's bases-loaded infield single was the difference-maker. Campbell was in his second game filling in for third baseman Xavier Turner, who was ruled ineligible Friday for a violation of NCAA rules. Stone entered the game with the bases loaded and one out. One pitch later the Dores were out of the inning with a double play. "I've learned that you can't make the situation bigger than what it really is," he said. "All you can try to do is throw a quality pitch in the zone and that's what I did."