Vanderbilt pulls away from UNC in CWS opener
Omaha, NE (Sports Network) - Connor Harrell's two-run homer in the sixth inning put Vanderbilt ahead for good, as the Commodores took a 7-3 victory over North Carolina in the opening game of the College World Series.
Tony Kemp added three hits, a run scored and an RBI for the Commodores, who advanced to play the winner of Saturday evening's Texas-Florida game.
Vanderbilt trailed 3-2 in the sixth but grabbed control with a three-run inning.
Mike Yastrzemski singled and scored on Conrad Gregor's double off the top of the left-field wall to knot the game.
The tie didn't last long, as the next batter, Harrell, pulled a hanging slider from UNC starter Patrick Johnson into the bleachers in left field to give Vanderbilt a 5-3 lead. The home run was the first in the new TD Ameritrade Park.
Run-scoring singles by Kemp and Anthony Gomez in the eighth extended Vandy's lead to a comfortable margin. Corey Williams took the win for throwing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Johnson, who took the loss, pitched six innings and gave up five runs -- four earned -- including one in the first inning.
He committed an error on Kemp's bunt single, allowing Kemp to take second. Kemp advanced to third on a Gomez groundout before scoring on Aaron Westlake's sacrifice fly.
North Carolina answered right back in the bottom half of the inning when Chaz Frank led off with a triple and scored on Colin Moran's one-out single, which deflected off the glove of first baseman Westlake.
UNC then took the lead in the second after Ben Bunting reached first on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a Brian Holberton groundout and scored on Seth Baldwin's single to left field. Kemp made a strong throw to the plate on the play, but it was just a little late as Bunting slid home safely.
Curt Casali's bases-loaded sacrifice fly to deep center field in the top of the third scored Riley Reynolds and tied the game at two.
North Carolina's Levi Michael hit a ball into shallow field with the bases loaded in the fourth and Kemp made a diving catch to preserve the tie. But the next batter, Moran, was hit by Vandy starter Sonny Gray to give the Tar Heels a 3-2 edge.
06/18 18:50:20 ET