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Vanderbilt Holds Off Downes-led Rally to Defeat Virginia 9-8

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 • 7:55am

OMAHA, Neb. -The Vanderbilt Commodores scored nine runs in the third inning and were able to hold off a potent Virginia attack to go on to defeat the Cavaliers, 9-8, in the first game of the College World Series Championship.

Virginia led, 2-0, going into the third inning, but Cavalier starting pitcher Nathan Kirby lost complete control of the strike zone, walking five batters as the Commodores scored all nine of their runs in the game to take a 9-2 lead.

Virginia, however, never quit as South Plainfield centerfielder Brandon Downes led a valiant Cavalier comeback. 

In the bottom half of the third inning Virginia would knock in three runs all with two outs. Downes would highlight the scoring, rifling a ball past the shortstop to knock in two runs to bring the score to 9-5. In the fifth inning, once again Downes would get the Cavalier offense churning tripling to center field with two outs. Downes scored the first of two more runs in the fifth inning. The inning ended with Virginia trailing just, 9-7.

Virginia added another run in the eighth inning to bring the score to 9-8, but strong defensive play by the Commodores was able to hold off the fast charging Cavaliers.  Tonight Vanderbilt can win the College World Series with a victory, and Virginia needs to win to force a game #3 winner take all final.

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