The Vanderbilt Commodores opened the College World Series final with a paltry display. As a result, the Commodores now face an uphill battle, as they’re dug into an 0-1 hole after Monday night’s 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines.
Michigan got things started right away, as they tagged Drake Fellows for two runs in the 1st inning. Jordan Brewer opened up shop with a double down the line that scored Jesse Franklin. Two batters later, Blake Nelson tacked on a second run, as he singled to bring Brewer in.
The lead widened up in the next inning. Ako Thomas hit a double that brought Jack Blomgren around to score. Then, Franklin hit a sacrifice groundout, which allowed for Joe Donovan to run in to score to give the Wolverines a 4-0 lead.
Vandy was facing a rather rigorous deficit, and needed to come up with something to answer. They were able to get that in the form of a single by Ty Duvall in the bottom stanza. That single scored Philip Clarke, and later on, Harrison Ray would score on a passed ball. The Commodores cut the lead in half, and kept the Wolverines off the board for the next few innings. In the bottom of the 6th, Vandy made noise again. JJ Bleday smacked a solo homer to bring the score up to 4-3 in favor of the Wolverines.
It seemed like Vanderbilt was applying pressure to Michigan, and perhaps things would break their way. Well, Jimmy Kerr thought otherwise. The Michigan 1st baseman slugged a two-run bomb in the top of the 7th, propping Michigan up with a three run lead. Donovan would then homer in the top of the 8th inning to add more insurance, bringing them up 7-3.
A sacrifice fly by Ray that brought Patrick DeMarco in to score would bring it to 7-4, but the deficit was too much for Vanderbilt to overcome.
As a result of their loss, Vandy will now need to right the ship and win two in a row beginning on Tuesday night.