What we learned from Day 3
One less team is vying for the championship at the College World Series
OMAHA, Neb. -- Texas stayed alive with a 4-1 win over Louisville on Monday at the College World Series, and Vanderbilt took control of Bracket 1 with a 6-4 nightcap victory over UC Irvine.
The Cardinals are the first eliminated this year from TD Ameritrade Park.
UT earned a rematch, set for Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, with the Anteaters.
Vanderbilt is off until Friday after a 5⅓ hitless innings of relief from Walker Buehler. The sophomore right-hander, in his sixth appearance from the bullpen this year, took over for starter Tyler Beede as the Commodores trailed 4-2 in the fourth inning.
"The game turned around when Walker came in," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "There was a momentum change. Very impressive. Very mature approach to the game."
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Three things we learned from Monday:
Watch the wheels: If it's possible to steal a national championship, Vanderbilt is going to try. The Commodores tormented UC Irvine on the basepaths, swiping five bases, including two apiece by Xavier Turner and John Norwood. Vandy has stolen eight bases in two games at TD Ameritrade Park. The other seven teams in Omaha, through three days, have combined to steal one base. In the postseason, Corbin's club has 20 steals and has not allowed a single theft.
Five runs is key: Might as well have just emptied the stadium when Norwood's sacrifice fly scored Turner in the fifth to complete a three-run inning and give the Commodores a 5-4 lead. Since June 23, 2010, when TCU beat Florida State 11-7 at Rosenblatt Stadium, 28 consecutive teams to score five or more runs at the CWS have emerged victorious. On cue, UC Irvine did not again hit safely past the fifth and advanced just one runner past first base.
Eyes on Texas: As five-time national champion coach Augie Garrido mentioned -- with a group of players listening in the news conference, mind you -- it's much easier than several years ago to win the national title after a first-round CWS loss. Why? The event spreads three to four days longer than before the championship series was instituted in 2003. The Longhorns, after 7⅓ strong innings from Parker French against Louisville on Monday, get a day off and then another on Thursday if they can defeat UC Irvine on Wednesday night. Texas starters Lukas Schiraldi and Chad Hollingsworth have yet to pitch, and ace Nathan Thornhill could return at the end of this week, if needed.
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