NCAA super regionals: Stanford, Pac-12 eliminated from baseball postseason
Stanford's improbable run to the decisive game of the Nashville super regional ended in sloppiness, frustration and a 12-5 loss to Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon, punching the Commodores' ticket to the College World Series in Omaha. The Cardinal now enters the offseason on a note of disappointment after turning a bad start around into a fun finish.
With freshmen dominating key spots in the rotation following the departure of No. 1 pick Mark Appel in 2013, Stanford labored to an 11-16 start against the toughest part of its schedule. The team matured in time to deliver a 24-10 finish that featured a postseason berth, regional championship, and – at long last – a super regional victory in the Southeast.
[Highlights: Stanford's season ends with loss to Vanderbilt]
But that was it. Stanford fell one win short of returning to Omaha for the first time since 2008. The Cardinal simply ran out of gas Sunday. The Commodores ambushed starter Logan James to the tune of four early runs. By the time the first inning was over, Vanderbilt led 5-0 and had already tapped into Marcus Brakeman, Stanford's second pitcher. Though Stanford fought back to close the deficit to 6-5, effective pitching and defense abandoned the Card late. The Commodores scored six insurance runs to send them to the College World Series.
All Pac-12 teams have now been eliminated from the NCAA tournament. For the first time in 17 years, the conference will not have a representative in Omaha. There will also be no Pac-12 three-peat: Arizona and UCLA won the College World Series the past two years.