NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Freshman starter Turner Spoljaric pitched six strong innings and Jacob Walsh cleared the bases with a three-run double to earn Oregon an 8-7 win over top-seeded Vanderbilt at the Nashville Regional on Saturday night.
The Ducks (39-20) await the winner of an elimination game between the Commodores and Xavier on Sunday.
Spoljaric (7-0) was touched for three runs in the second inning to tie the game, but then held Vanderbilt scoreless over the next four innings while the Ducks took the lead.
Tanner Smith homered to cap a three-run first inning to put Oregon in front and Bennett Thompson homered to center field in the second to give the Ducks a 4-1 lead, but Vanderbilt tied the game after RJ Schreck’s solo homer in the bottom half of the inning. Oregon grabbed the lead with a four-run fifth inning after Sabin Ceballos singled in one run and Jacob Walsh doubled with the bases loaded.
Vanderbilt chipped away at the lead, scoring a run in the seventh, but Oregon sent its closer, Josh Mollerus out for the ninth inning. Schreck walked and a batter later Chris Maldonado homered to left to get the Commodores within one, but Mollerus coaxed both Troy LaNeve and RJ Austin to fly out to center field to end the game and preserve his 11th save.
Ryan Ginther relieved Vanderbilt starter Hunter Owen in the fifth inning and took the loss.
Oregon State-LSU game postponed by inclement weather
The NCAA tournament baseball game between Oregon State and LSU scheduled for Saturday night in the Baton Rouge Regional has been moved to Sunday at 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time.
A lightning storm delayed the elimination game between Tulane and Sam Houston in the seventh inning with Sam Houston leading 7-2. That game was delayed by more than three hours and it was unsure when it might resume. The delay lasted long enough to ensure that the Oregon State-LSU winner’s bracket game would not be able to start before an NCAA-mandated deadline.
According to the NCAA host operation manual, regional games must begin by 11 p.m. local time.