OMAHA, Neb. – Vanderbilt capitalized on Virginia starter Nathan Kirby’s sudden loss of control to score nine runs in the third inning, then held off the Cavaliers to win 9-8 in Game 1 of the best-of-three College World Series final Monday night.
The Commodores (50-20) can win their first NCAA title in a men’s sport with a victory Tuesday night.
Tyler Campbell continued his breakout for Vanderbilt, doubling twice in the third inning. Campbell’s second double came off reliever Whit Mayberry with the bases loaded to put the Commodores ahead 9-2.
But Virginia (52-15) chipped away, scoring three runs in the third, two in the fifth and another in the eighth to make it a one-run game.
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Adam Ravenelle came on in the ninth inning to get the last three outs for his second save of the CWS.
It was the highest-scoring CWS game at TD Ameritrade Park, which opened in 2011.
The nine runs in the third, off three hits, five walks and a hit batsman, were the most in an inning in the CWS since Stanford scored 11 against Florida State in the ninth on June 14, 2008, at the old Rosenblatt Stadium.
Jared Miller (7-2) got the victory for two innings of relief of Walker Buehler. Kirby (9-3) took the loss.