Austin Martin homered on Reid Detmers’ first pitch of the game and he went deep again in the seventh to break a tie in Vanderbilt’s 3-1 victory over Louisville on Sunday in the College World Series on Sunday.
Drake Fellows came off a poor outing in the super regionals to pitch seven strong innings and help No. 2 national seed Vanderbilt (55-11) improve to 4-0 in its CWS openers.
Martin homered twice for the second straight game, having hit two against Duke on June 9. He became the first player since Florida’s Harrison Bader in 2015 to lead off a CWS game with a homer when he drove Detmers’ initial offering out to left.
Martin’s two-run homer off Bryan Hoeing (3-4) in the seventh barely cleared the wall in left center, but it was long enough to break a 1-all tie after Julian Infante doubled.
Fellows (13-1), a sixth-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres this month and the national wins leader, had worked the first four innings of an 18-5 loss to Duke in the super regional opener June 7.
No. 7 Louisville (49-17) had base runners in six of Fellows’ seven innings but found a semblance of rhythm only in the fifth. No. 8 batter Justin Lavey started things with a double and scored on Henry Davis’ base hit to tie it. Lucas Dunn and Logan Wyatt followed with singles to load the bases with one out, but Fellows got a flyout and groundout to snuff the threat.
Fellows allowed six singles and a double, walked one and struck out six before the bullpen took over. All-SEC closer Tyler Brown worked the ninth for his 15th save.
Mississippi State 5, Auburn 4: Marshall Gilbert hit a bases-loaded single up the middle that capped a four-run ninth inning and gave the Bulldogs the victory in the nightcap.
The No. 6 national seed Bulldogs (52-13) threatened time and again before finally breaking through in the ninth for their sixth straight win in the NCAA Tournament. Auburn (38-27), making its first CWS appearance since 1997, was within an out of wrapping up the win. But third baseman Edouard Julien’s wild throw to first on Dustin Skelton’s grounder allowed Elijah MacNamee to score the tying run.
Tanner Burns (4-4) intentionally walked Rowdey Jordan and Josh Hatcher beat Julien’s throw to first on a soft grounder to load the bases for Gilbert, who had been hitless in four at-bats before coming to the plate.
Gilbert ripped a shot second baseman Ryan Bliss couldn’t get to, Skelton came home from third and the Mississippi State dugout emptied, with players running into right field to mob Gilbert after the Bulldogs’ third walk-off win of the season.
Cole Gordon (5-0) pitched one inning for the win.