Vanderbilt will be back in the finals
OMAHA — Defending national champion Vanderbilt returned to the College World Series finals after Walker Buehler and John Kilichowski combined on a five-hitter and Rhett Wiseman homered in a 7-1 victory over Texas Christian on Friday night.
The Commodores (50-19) move to the best-of-three finals starting Monday against the winner of Saturday’s game between 2014 runner-up Virginia and Florida.
Buehler (5-2), the Dodgers’ first-round draft choice, gave up four hits and a run and struck out eight in 62⁄ innings. Kilichowski allowed one hit the rest of the way.
TCU starter Tyler Alexander (6-3) was touched for three runs and seven hits in 21⁄ innings for the Horned Frogs (51-15).
With his fastball clocked in the mid-90s early, Buehler retired the first 10 TCU batters. He gave up back-toback singles, then set down six of the next seven.
TCU came to Omaha with a 2.38 earned-run average that ranked second nationally, and the Frogs gave up only eight runs in their first 27 innings at the College World Series. They gave up seven runs, six earned, in the first five innings against Vanderbilt.
Florida 10, Virginia 5: Richie Martin doubled twice and reached four times as the Gators forced a final game with the Cavaliers in their bracket.
Florida (52-17) ruined the return of Virginia ace Nathan Kirby, who had been sidelined for nine weeks because of a strained back muscle as Virginia (41-23) lost for the first time in eight NCAA tournament games.
Just like his miserable night in the opener of last year’s CWS finals against Vanderbilt, Kirby couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Florida tagged him for four runs on five hits in the third and made it 9-1 with a five-run sixth.
Gators starter Logan Shore (11-6) won for the second time at the CWS.
The game was different from the first Florida-Virginia meeting Monday, when Brandon Waddell and Josh Sborz combined on a twohitter as the Gators won, 1-0.
VANDERBILT’S Bryan Reynolds celebrates after hitting a triple in the victory over TCU.