Vanderbilt walks off Arizona in 12th inning to win College World Series opener
It took 12 full innings, but Vanderbilt walked off Arizona 7-6 to win its opening game of the College World Series.
In the bottom of the 12th, Isaiah Thomas reached on base hit up the middle that deflected off of the pitcher’s hand, and then, Parker Noland tried to sacrifice bunt and ended up with a base hit. With one out, Javier Vaz walked to load the bases for Jayson Gonzalez, and the No. 9 hole hitter delivered. Gonzalez singled up the middle to give the Commodores the win in extra innings.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 20, 2021
Gonzalez recorded three hits on the night, including the game-winner.
The Commodores shook off some early rare trouble from starting pitcher Kumar Rocker and Carter Young delivered a huge late-inning home run to help win the opener.
The Wildcats delivered back-to-back doubles en route to three runs in the first inning as Rocker struggled to find a rhythm, but once he did, he kept Vanderbilt in the game long enough to make a comeback. Overall, Rocker gave up those runs on four hits, but just one of the runs was earned because of an error by Dominic Keegan at first base. Keegan had another error later in the game as the Commodores ultimately had three as a team.
Rocker’s final line was 5 2/3 innings pitched, five runs allowed, three earned, with seven strikeouts.
Arizona used a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the ninth.
Vanderbilt’s Jayson Gonzalez tied the game with a two-run home run to right-center field, which scored Javier Vaz in the fourth inning.
Former Tennessee pitcher Chase Silseth got the start for Arizona and went 6 1/3 innings, and he gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Young gave Vanderbilt its first lead of the game with a big home run in the seventh inning.
Trailing Arizona for much of the game, Young smoked a 1-1 fastball to right center field for a two-run homer as the Commodores grabbed a 6-5 lead. Enrique Bradfield Jr., the stolen base artist, was on first after he had an RBI single. Bradfield and Young each extended their on-base streak to 28 games this season.
Vanderbilt returns to action Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET against NC State.