Postseason baseball is all about "survive and advance." With the season on the line Wednesday night, Vanderbilt stayed alive in a most unusual way.
The Commodores knocked off Stanford, 6–5, in an elimination game with a walk-off wild pitch with two outs in the ninth inning. Spencer Jones scored from third base after Stanford pitcher Brendan Beck threw his 1–0 pitch over the catcher's head.
The win keeps Vanderbilt's title hopes alive with another do-or-die game on Friday against North Carolina State.
Beck pitched two perfect innings of relief with five strikeouts before the ninth inning. He retired the first two hitters of the ninth before walking Javier Vaz. Vaz moved to third on an infield single and error, then tied the game on a single by Enrique Bradfield Jr.
Two pitches later, Beck's pitch sailed high, and Jones scored standing up from third base.
The Commodores trailed, 4–0, midway through fourth inning as the offense managed just two singles. They got on the board with a two-run homer by Dominic Keegan to cut the deficit in half.
Stanford got an insurance run in the sixth inning, but Vanderbilt answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the frame to stay within one.
The No. 4-ranked Commodores are the second-highest-ranked team left in the field behind No. 2 Texas. The Longhorns will take on Virginia on Thursday in an elimination game, with the winner moving on to face No. 7 Mississippi State.
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