baseball-d1 flag

Duane Cross | | June 17, 2014

Cross: Vandy's Buehler answers the call

  Walker Buehler struck out seven hitters in his 5.1 innings to lift Vanderbilt.

OMAHA, Neb. -- On Monday night, Buehler answered when his name was called.

Trailing 4-2 in the fourth inning, Vanderbilt needed something -- anything -- to breathe life into its slipping-away chances against UC Irvine. Enter Walker Buehler, a 15-game starter for the Commodores who made two relief appearances this season, most recently May 2 at Missouri.

Put on notice before the game to be prepared to throw in relief, Buehler was ready. “I think doing that a couple times throughout the year also helps. You're more comfortable doing it.” On Monday night, he looked more than comfortable.

Top Performers: Day 8
Breeze: Trio stars in Vanderbilt's 10-inning thriller Photos
Kroll: Garrido sums up UT loss: ‘It’s a cruel game’
Breeze: Pitching fuels UVa.'s run to CWS Finals Photos
Kroll: Ole Miss' well runs dry in loss to Virginia
Top Performers: Day 7
Cross: Texas takes advantage of Vandy mistakes
Kroll: Hinojosa remains talk of town Photos
Top Five Plays through first 10 games
Top Performers: Day 6
Cross: Bianco's boys have perfected elimination game
Kroll: Ole Miss advances behind Allen Photos
Top Performers: Day 5
Kroll: Hinojosa's homer leads Longhorns Photos
Cross: Hollingsworth tosses gem in second start of season
UC Irvine's Morales finds inspiration in his sister
Top Performers: Day 4
Kroll: Cavs find time for it all in win Photos
Cross: Virginia shows off pitching depth in 15 innings
Cross: Ole Miss makes most of chances Photos
Kroll: Texas Tech beaten at own game as CWS run ends
Ole Miss goes to the zoo Meet the Bortles brothers
Top Performers: Day 3
Kroll: Vandy hits magic number for CWS win Photos
Cross: Vanderbilt's Bueler answers the call in relief
Kroll: Texas makes the plays Louisville can't Photos
Cross: How bullpens will help decide the CWS
Corey Ray & Ro Coleman: Chicago's Finest
Top Performers: Day 2
Kroll: Kirby, Papi lead Virginia to victory Photos
Kroll: Morrison makes his pitch on CWS stage Photos
Higgins: Ole Miss fans flock to Omaha
Hill: TD Ameritrade Park the stage -- and a star
Higgins: Texas enjoys off day at team barbeque
Hill: Plenty of dads spending Father's Day at the CWS
Vanderbilt's antics in the outfield
Top Performers: Day 1
Kroll: Vandy pushes right buttons in opening win Photos
Hill: Louisville fans thrilled to be back in Omaha
Higgins: Stirring pre-game ceremony marks Flag Day
Kroll: UC Irvine debunks myth in Game 1 win Photos
Hill: Despite team's fortunes, LSU fans show up in Omaha
CWS grounds crew is Omaha's unsung home team
Freshman, senior share thoughts on opening ceremony
Kroll: Five questions to get to know players and coaches
Higgins: Quizzing the coaches on CWS history
Hill: Players and coaches discuss favorite sports movies
Photo Essay: CWS contenders take their cuts
Photo Essay: Talented players dot CWS landscape
Team Capsules | Opening Round Matchups | Draft Picks
Highlights | Brackets: Interactive Print
“I don’t think it’s to anyone’s surprise the game turned around when Walker came in,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “There was a momentum change. He pounded the strike zone from the minute he got in there until the minute the game finished. Very impressive -- very mature approach to the game.”

Buehler held in check UCI until -- and after -- Vandy righted the ship and rallied for a three-run fifth inning. The Commodores tacked on an insurance run in the seventh but it proved to be more for the fans’ comfort than anything else; Buehler was on cruise control as he wrapped up the 6-4 win.

The comeback victory propelled Vanderbilt one win from the CWS Finals. The Dores will face the Texas-UCI winner at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

Called upon to stanch the bleeding after Tyler Beede coughed up a 2-0 lead by yielding four runs in the second, Buehler was dominating: no hits, two walks and seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings -- including retiring the first nine batters he faced.

“I think we had a good approach against Beede,” UCI’s Kris Paulino said. “He tends to be wild, and we were disciplined. And [when] Buehler came in the game, he pounded the strike zone; he was throwing pretty hard. He had good command of his off speed, too. He was on.”

Buehler shut down the Anteaters’ offense across the board. Other than issuing a two-out base on balls to Grant Palmer and a hit-by-pitch to Paulino on consecutive at-bats in the eighth inning, Buehler was never out of rhythm.

“Once Buehler came into the game, he executed,” UCI’s Taylor Sparks said. “We just didn't play the way we usually play and our at‑bats just weren't what they usually are, especially from Beede to Buehler. We chased a lot more with Buehler. He executed pitcher's pitches against us and we just didn't execute as well.”

Vanderbilt will rest its arms for three days, and Corbin knows getting out to a 2-0 start plays to the Commodores’ advantage given the depth of the pitching staff. “I think the luxury is that we can go into the bullpen a little bit quicker and it never feels like with any of these kids [that] we take a step back, whether it's Walker or whether it's [Adam] Ravenelle or whether it's [Hayden] Stone or Jared Miller or Brian Miller. We have some arms that haven't pitched yet -- Tyler Ferguson.

“Coming into [the College World Series] we just told the kids, as far as roles were concerned, it was up for grabs,” Corbin said. “We were just going to do what we had to do from a skill‑set standpoint to match up against the skill set of the [other] team in order to put ourselves in an advantageous situation.

“I think of them all the same; we don't label them as 1s, 2s and 3s. They're all pretty damn good -- and I like what they're capable of doing.”

2023 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships: Live updates, results, schedule, how to watch

Here's a quick guide to the 2023 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including a schedule, links to results and how to to watch the annual track and field meet.

Head-to-head matchups to watch for at the 2023 SEC outdoor track and field championships

The SEC championships are filled with top-ranked teams and loaded with some of the top regular-season performers.

Notre Dame, Wichita State, Tennessee clinch weekend sweeps over top 10 baseball teams

One day after No. 6 South Carolina swept No. 3 Florida and Georgia swept No. 5 Arkansas, three more top-10 teams fell to sweeps on Sunday.
Division I
Baseball Championship
June 14 - 24, 2024
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners