OMAHA, Neb. — North Carolina State bested Vanderbilt in a classic pitcher’s duel Monday at the College World Series winning 1-0.
The Commodores (46-16) fall into the loser’s bracket where they were face Stanford (39-16) at 6 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination game. A win there would earn them a rematch against the Wolfpack at 1 p.m. Friday.
Vandy got a brilliant pitching performance from Jack Leiter (10-4) who went eight innings and struck out 15 hitters. He worked around four hits and one walk while giving up just the one run as he threw 123 pitches.
North Carolina State starter Sam Highfill (9-2) was also nearly unhittable. He threw 7 1/3 innings, struck out seven, walked two and surrendered just two hits over 100 pitches.
Vanderbilt tried to get something cooking in the ninth inning thanks to a lead-off walk by Carter Young, but Dominic Keegan roped into a 4-6-3 double play. Pinch-hitter Tate Kolwyck struck out looking to end the game.
The result marked just the third time Vandy has ever been shutout in a College World Series game.
Leiter was throwing a perfect game through four innings, but his second pitch of the fifth inning was tattooed into right field by Terrell Tatum giving North Carolina State a 1-0 lead.
That turned out to be the game winner.
CJ Rodriguez patiently drew a six-pitch walk and then moved to second on a Javier Vaz bunt in the seventh to give the Dores their first baserunner to second. Cooper Davis came in to run for Rodriguez at second while North Carolina State closer Evan Justice entered the fray to face Jayson Gonzalez.
Gonzalez rolled to second allowing Davis to go to third and bringing Enrique Bradfield to the plate – but Bradfield took a called third strike to end the threat.
North Carolina State (37-18) will now be off until Friday as it awaits the Vandy-Stanford winner.
• Leiter set a new Vanderbilt record for strikeouts in a single College World Series game with 15.
• Leiter moved into second place in Vanderbilt history for most strikeouts in a single season (183). David Price is first with 194.
• Leiter’s 15 strikeouts were two short of a single game College World Series record.
• Leiter is now 12-4 with a 2.03 ERA for his career. He has throw 119 2/3 innings, allowed 27 earned runs and 50 hits while walking 50 and striking out 193 hitters.
• Vanderbilt is now 17-8 at the College World Series and 25-8 in its last 33 postseason game.
• The Commodores have now recorded 733 strikeouts this season. The 2019 team set a Vanderbilt record with 765.
• Attendance was announced as 23,712