OMAHA, Neb. — Dansby Swanson doubled in two runs and Adam Ravenelle pitched 2 1-3 innings of shutout relief to help Vanderbilt beat Louisville 5-3 in the College World Series on Saturday night.
The Commodores (46-19) won in a grinding, 3-hour, 40-minute game that saw Louisville (50-16) issue nine walks, its third-most of the season. One of the Cardinals’ two wild pitches produced a Vanderbilt run.
Another run, and a big one, came home on a passed ball after the Commodores saw their 4-0 lead shrink to 4-3 in the seventh. It looked like catcher Kyle Gibson was setting up for a pitch-out, but reliever Kyle McGrath pitched to the plate and Gibson let the ball get past him, allowing Vince Conde to score.
Carson Fulmer (7-1) worked six innings for the win, and Ravenelle retired seven of the last eight Louisville batters for his first save. Kyle Funkhouser (13-3) took the loss.
Vanderbilt will play Monday night against UC Irvine. The Cardinals will meet Texas in an elimination game in the afternoon.
Louisville, the only returning team from the 2013 CWS, came to Omaha having won their last three against the Commodores. The Cardinals swept them in super regionals last year and beat them again last month.
John Norwood scored the first of Vanderbilt’s three runs in the second inning, coming home on Funkhouser’s bases-loaded wild pitch. Swanson followed with his two-run double into the left-center gap.
The Commodores led 4-0 after Bryan Reynolds tripled in Swanson in the fourth. Reynolds had made the catch of the day in the second when he went to the left-field wall to haul in a drive off the bat of Omaha native Grant Kay.
The Cardinals pulled to 4-2 in the fifth against Fulmer, who got the start instead of first-round draft pick Tyler Beede. Sutton Whiting hit an RBI triple and scored on a groundout, and the Cardinals chased Fulmer after getting two runners on base in the sixth.
Hayden Stone came on to end that threat, but he left in the seventh after Zach Lucas narrowly beat Norwood’s throw to the plate on Nick Solak’s hit to center to make it 4-3.
Vanderbilt is in the CWS for the second time, and first since 2011.
The Cardinals went 0-2 at last year’s CWS, getting eliminated in an embarrassing 11-4 loss in which they committed four errors. They came to Omaha this week off five straight wins in the NCAA tournament.