Commodores take Game 1
Strong pitching has Vanderbilt on brink of back- to back College World Series titles. VANDERBILT 5 VIRGINIA 1
OMAHA — Carson Fulmer combined with two relievers on a four- hitter, Will Toffey’s two- run double broke a scoreless tie in the sixth, and defending national champion Vanderbilt opened the College World Series f inals with a 5- 1 victory over Virginia on Monday night.
The Commodores ( 51- 19) need one more win, Tuesday or Wednesday, to become the seventh team to win back- to- back national titles, and the third to do it in the last 10 years.
Fulmer ( 14- 2) struck out eight, walked two and hit two batters in his 20th consecutive start of at least five innings. He outdueled Virginia starter Connor Jones ( 7- 3), who gave up three hits over five shutout innings before the Commodores got to him for two runs in the sixth.
Virginia ( 42- 24), the Commodores’ f inals opponent for the second straight year, scored in the ninth to end the Vanderbilt bullpen’s streak of 22 shutout innings.
Fulmer, the No. 8 overall draft pick by the Chicago White Sox, retired nine in a row from the f ifth to eighth inning before Adam Haseley bounced a ball over the leftcenter fence for a groundrule double.
Four of his eight strike- outs ended innings.
Jones held Vanderbilt in check until Zander Wiel singled with two outs in the sixth and Bryan Reynolds walked. Both scored when Toffey, who was one for 11 in the CWS, sliced a ball down the left- f ield line for a double.
Vanderbilt added three more runs in the seventh.
Virginia’s run came against Kyle Wright. Kenny Towns singled leading off the ninth, took second on a wild pitch and came home on pinch- hitter Jack Gerstenmaier’s base hit.
ZANDER WIEL of Vanderbilt singles in the sixth inning of Game 1.