Tim Corbin reacts to 'tough ball game,' thrilling victory over Arizona
It went nearly five hours, but Vanderbilt pulled out an opening game victory in the College World Series over Arizona thanks to a Jayson Gonzalez a one-out, RBI single through the middle with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th. That gave Vanderbilt a 7-6 win at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Vandy Boys prevailed despite a rocky first inning from ace Kumar Rocker, who gave up three runs.
The Commodores (46-15) next play North Carolina State (36-18) at 7 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN.
After the game, coach Tim Corbin reacted to the victory.
“Just a tough ball game in a lot of ways, I don’t know if — I guess both sides felt like that thing would never end. But it did. We had to contain them. I thought we did such a good job of that particularly after the first inning,” Corbin said. “I thought Kumar was really good. He righted himself and got deep into the ball game. And after that, Maldonado did a nice job of being able to contain them. He had to pitch out of a second-and-third, two outs when he came in. It became that anyway. We kind of messed around with the ball a little bit. But he did a nice job. … Hitting-wise, certainly Gonzalez’s two-run home run in the fourth was, with two outs was a big hit. And Carter later on in the game and certainly finishing up. But just a tough ball game.”
Arizona’s high-powered offense was well-documented entering the CWS, and Corbin spoke about Rocker’s adjustment after the first-inning struggles.
Well, I think as far as Kumar was concerned, I thought he landed the breaking ball. I thought he was more attacking after the first inning. Those first innings are difficult on any pitcher first time here. The game as a whole is a very difficult one in this tournament.
“But I thought Kumar just started landing his pitches,” Corbin said. “We only walked one hitter. So that says a lot about the pitching staff. I thought they were efficient. Kumar had to be in order to get deep into that ball game, into the sixth. Maldonado was landing his breaking ball. But I thought we elevated the fastball pretty well in certain situations and threw it just off the plate enough where it ran off their bat.”