|Nashville, Tenn. | Hawkins Field
|Win: A.J. Vanegas (4-3)|
|Loss: Adam Ravenelle (3-2)|
|Wayne Taylor - 2-4, HR, 2 RBI|
|Brant Whiting - 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI|
|Brett Michael Doran - 1-3, RBI|
NASHVILLE -- Stanford's Wayne Taylor sent the Nashville Super Regional to a third and deciding game with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Vanderbilt, 5-4, Saturday afternoon. The shot over the right center wall tied the series after Vanderbilt won the opener, 11-6, Friday.
"It was a great college baseball game," said Mark Marquess, the Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball. "A little bit too great for me late."
Taylor lifted a 95 mile per hour fastball from Adam Ravenelle (3-2) towards the stands in right center, as Vanderbilt's outfielders gave chase. The one-out shot in a 1-1 count carried over the wall and into the bleachers at Hawkins Field, silencing the sold-out crowd.
"I knew that if I was going to be able to hit with his velocity, I was going to have to get the head of the bat out," said Taylor. "I thought it was a pretty good pitch that he threw, it was down. I was able to put a good swing on it and get a hold of it.
"I wasn't sure," Taylor said on if he knew the ball was gone. "It was kind of low, so I figured it could bounce off the fence. But yeah, I thought I got it pretty good."
The blast was part of a two-hit, two-RBI day for Taylor, who was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 16th round just before the game started. His homer was his second go-ahead bomb in Stanford's last four games, as he knocked a three-run shot in the eighth inning to help carry the Cardinal past Indiana June 1.
Cal Quantrill and Brant Whiting also had big days for Stanford. Quantrill went 7.0 innings on the mound, while allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. The freshman showed a devistating changeup to strike out five Vandy hitters.
Whiting started the game 2-2, before being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 30th round. His second hit, a double, plated two runs to put the Cardinal ahead, 2-1, in the fouth. He followed up being draft by smaking another double to end up with a 3-for-4 outing.
Quantrill was in line for the win after exiting in the eighth, but Vanderbilt rallied to tie the score with two in that frame and another in the ninth. A.J. Vanegas (4-3) finished the game for Stanford, allowing the last three to score, two of which were charged to Quantrill. Vanderbilt evened the score on a bases-loaded hit by pitch, before a ground out to Tommy Edman left three Commodores on base.
Stanford (35-25) had added two insurance runs in the seventh inning. Whiting doubled and came around to score on a Taylor single, then Jack Klein put down a sac bunt and Brett Michael Doran plated Taylor.
Vanderbilt (45-19) starter Carson Fulmer went 6.1 innings, while allowing four runs on seven hits. His fastball ranged between 95-97 miles per hour, as he struck out nine Cardinal. Jared Miller and Brian Miller went 0.2 and 1.0 innings, respectively, out of the bullpen, prior to Ravenelle surrendering the game-ending home run.
The two teams meet again tomorrow with a trip the College World Series in Omaha on the line. ESPN2 will broadcast the noon PT start.