Com­modores take Game 1

Strong pitch­ing has Van­der­bilt on brink of back- to back Col­lege World Se­ries ti­tles. VAN­DER­BILT 5 VIR­GINIA 1

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS -

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.

Peter Aiken Getty I mages

ZANDER WIEL of Van­der­bilt sin­gles in the sixth in­ning of Game 1.

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