The 2014 college baseball season is official in the books. This year’s champion was crowned last night in Omaha. The Vanderbilt baseball team took home the title in grand fashion edging out well respected opponent Virginia.
With the series tied one to one going into last night’s game, The Commodores pulled out a victory in dramatic fashion winning the game 3-2. With the game tied 2-2 late in the ball game, the Commodores came up to bat in the top of the eighth inning. With one out John Norwood stepped to the plate. Facing Nick Howard, Virginia’s best pitcher and a first round pick in this past months MLB draft, Norwood stepped up to the challenge. Howard left a 97mph fastball up and in to Norwood, and Norwood took advantage blasting the ball over the left field fence for a solo homerun.
With a 3-2 lead going into the eighth inning, Adam Ravenelle took over for Vanderbilt on the hill. Ravenelle worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth, preserving his teams lead moving into the last frame. Virginias Nick Howard made quick work of the Commodores in the top of the 9th, sending Adam Ravenelle back out to the mound with an opportunity to clinch his team a World Series title.
Robbie Cronan Virginias nine hitter led off the 9th inning by driving a Ravenelle fastball down the right field line, unfortunately for Cronan, Rhett Wiseman made a spectacular diving catch to rob him of an extra base hit. Ravenelle went on to make quick work of both Branden Cogswell and Daniel Pinero to clinch the Commodores their first national title in school history.
This victory for the Commodores was also a small victory for New England. Coach Tim Corbin is originally from New Hampshire and is known for recruiting the best talent in New England to go to Vanderbilt. On the playing field, all four Massachusetts natives on the Vanderbilt roster had a significant role in this championship run. Vanderbilt’s ace Tyler Beede who is from Auburn Mass, started a handful of important games during the tournament. Rhett Wiseman of Mansfield Mass, started every game for Commodores in right field. Wiseman had a lot of key hits to propel his team to victory. Ben Bowden of Lynn, Mass and Adam Ravenelle of Sudbury, Mass, both came out of the bullpen for Vanderbilt at key times during the College World Series, helping solidify their team as champion.
The Road to Omaha is long and tedious. Hats off to Vanderbilt for being the last team standing, out-competing the eight other baseball teams in this year’s tournament and being the College World Series Champion.