CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-– Aaron Garza knocked in three runs, and Commodore starter Matt Buschmann allowed only five hits and no earned runs as Vanderbilt defeated host Virginia 7-3 Sunday at Davenport Field before a partisan, sellout crowd of 2,530.
The Commodores (45-17) advance to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional for the first time in school history. Vanderbilt will meet the University of Texas in a best-of-three series beginning Friday in Austin.
Virginia (44-15) ends its season after having earned the opportunity to face Vanderbilt earlier Sunday when it eliminated Princeton with a 9-0 victory.
Garza tied his career high for RBI with three. He smacked a one-out, two-run double in the first inning and hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Buschmann (8-1) limited Virginia to five hits and three runs – all unearned – to go along with three walks and four strikeouts in 6-2/3 innings of work.
|Vanderbilt players celebrate their 7-3 win over Virginia, the first time the school has ever won an NCAA Regional, Sunday at Charlottesville, Va. (Neil Brake / VU Athletics)|
"I got a little emotion going, and sometimes you start to lose a little feel of your pitches," Buschmann said of his first inning performance. "I just needed to take a step back, take a deep breath and get out of (the inning). I wasn't worried about striking anybody out. I knew my defense would be there for me, so I was just trying to put the ball in the strike zone."
UVa's second pitcher, Scott Morgenthaler (1-1), took the loss, after giving up two earned runs on seven hits in 2-2/3 innings. Cavalier starter Chris Gale pitched only the first inning, allowing three earned runs on three hits.
Vanderbilt took a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Warner Jones doubled down the line in left field to bring in Ryan Klosterman from second base with the game's first run. Jones' double set the record for doubles in a season by a Commodore with 27, one more than Josh Adeeb hit in 1997.
Three batters later, Garza doubled into the alley in right center field to score Jones from second base and Cesar Nicolas from first base.
Virginia answered immediately in the bottom of the first inning, tying the game at 3-3 thanks to three unearned runs. The Cavaliers managed only one hit but took advantage of three uncharacteristic Commodore errors.
UVa scored its first run when Matt Dunn crossed home plate after Buschmann bobbled a slow chopper back to the mound with the bases loaded. Ryan Zimmerman later came in on a sacrifice fly by Matt Street. Joe Koshansky scored from third base when Kyle Werman's grounder to second base with the bases loaded found its way through Jones' legs for an error.
"The first inning was very emotional for both sides," Corbin said. "I brought the team together after we had the train wreck there in the first inning, and just tried to settle everyone down. That wasn't like us in terms of errors and I could just feel the emotions just got the best of us.
"I wasn't worried about it. It's just something that happens. All I wanted to do was stop the inning from spiraling. We just got it back and after the first inning we settled down."
The Commodores broke a 3-3 tie in the second inning, scoring once. Jones hit a two-out run-scoring single to right center field to plate Klosterman.
Vanderbilt pushed its lead to 5-3 in the fourth on an RBI single to right field by Nicolas that brought in Jonathan Douillard from second base.
Garza gave the Commodores a 6-3 advantage in the seventh when his sacrifice fly into right center field brought home Nicolas from third base.
"We got some timely hits," Corbin said. "I like what we did in situational hitting with guys at third base, less than two outs and getting runs in. It was a great atmosphere-- I hope it helps us down the road. I'm very proud of my kids."
Vanderbilt added an insurance run in the eighth, building a 7-3 lead when Klosterman’s sacrifice fly scored Worth Scott.
Stephen Shao relieved Buschmann in the seventh inning with two outs and two UVa runners on base. He coaxed Koshansky to line out to Jones at second base. Commodore reliever Jensen Lewis retired both batters he faced in the eighth inning. Ryan Rote pitched a perfect ninth to close out the win for Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt totaled seven hits with a 4-5 performance by Jones. Klosterman and Nicolas each added two hits.
Seven Commodores were selected to the Charlottesville Regional All-Tournament Team, including Jones (second base), Klosterman (shortstop), Scott (outfield), Garza (outfield), Antoan Richardson (outfield), Nicolas (designated hitter), and starter Jeremy Sowers. Nicolas was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player.
Times for Vanderbilt's visit to the Super Regional at Texas will be announced Monday.
The team will arrive at Vanderbilt around 10 am CT Monday in front of the football stadium tunnel on Jess Neely Drive.
FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Vanderbilt (45-17) 3 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 7 13 3
Virginia (44-15) 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 0