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2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Stanford Cardinal 5, Vanderbilt Commodores 4

The visitors take the second game of the series to cause a pivotal, winner-take-all match-up Sunday


One of the many things I like about the NCAA baseball tournament is that it usually provides multiple games to refute the criticism that baseball is boring. The second game of the Nashville Super Regional -- a Stanford win that set up a winner-take-all third game against Vanderbilt tomorrow -- could be called many things. But boring is not one of them.

To get to the interesting part of the game, though, you do kind of have to skip forward to the bottom of the seventh inning. Stanford led 2-1, so it's not like the game was out of hand at that point. But it got much more interesting from then on, when the Cardinal scored two more runs to really put Vanderbilt on the ropes.

Then the bizarreness began. Over the next two innings, Vanderbilt would score three runs while managing only two infield hits. In the meantime, Stanford pitchers walked five batters, hit another and threw a wild pitch that nullified a strikeout when the ball went to the backstop and the batter made it to first. The hit batter actually drove in the tying run -- and suddenly Vanderbilt had another chance to close out the game and head to Omaha.

Then -- #baseball. After Vanderbilt was retired in the top of the ninth, and with one out for the Cardinal, Wayne Taylor crushed a ball for the walk-off home run to set up tomorrow's game. A win gets Vanderbilt (or Stanford) to the College World Series, and a loss means the end of a season.

There's nothing boring about that.