Vanderbilt Commodores – Win 3-1, No-contest Win
In a very odd turn of events, Vanderbilt baseball is advancing to the College World Series finals. On Friday afternoon, it was brought to the attention that NC State and Vanderbilt would have a delayed start. At first, people were unsure of the reason. Later, it was announced that NC State had a COVID-19 outbreak where at least two members of the baseball team had tested positive. The NCAA decided to let the teams play on Friday after about an hour delay. NC State had a reduced lineup though as those who tested positive were not available to play. Vanderbilt ended up winning the game 3-1. Star pitcher Kumar Rocker brought some of his best stuff again as he struck out 11 in six innings pitched and gave up only 1 run. CJ Rodriguez brought home Keegan in the 4th inning on an RBI single and ended up scoring himself a couple of pitches later on a wild pitch. The Dores had a 2-0 lead, then NC State hit a SAC fly to close the gap to 2-1. Finally, in the 6th, Vandy added an insurance run on an RBI single from Noland. The bullpen would handle the rest and Vanderbilt won 3-1.
As odd as that game was it was not the worst of the weekend. Following the game, at roughly 1:10 a.m. on Saturday morning, the NCAA ruled that Vanderbilt and NC State would have a no-contest and Vanderbilt advances to the CWS finals. It sent the sports world into a frenzy. Nobody wanted the series to end this way, but it was, unfortunately, the way it did end. Vanderbilt moved on and NC State went home. Vandy will play Mississippi State in the College World Series finals starting on Monday.
NCAA Statement from Division I Baseball Committee:
The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee has declared the Vanderbilt-NC State Men’s College World Series game scheduled for Saturday, June 26 at 1 p.m. Central time a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. #CWS pic.twitter.com/amxdQwkQ6l
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 26, 2021
Nashville Sounds: Win 5-4, Loss 4-3, Win 5-4
The Nashville Sounds finished up their series against the Charlotte Knights by winning 2 of the last 3 games to win the series 4-2. Friday night’s game the Sounds jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as 2 RBI doubles brought home 3 baserunners. It was quiet for the Sounds’ bats after that as they saw the Knights inch their way back and eventually tie the game in the 8th inning and take the lead 4-3 in the 10th inning. The Knight’s closing pitching would blow the save though as the bullpen hit 2 men in the bottom of the 10th, walked a batter, and threw a wild pitch which allowed the tying and game-winning run to cross the plate. The second matchup was similar that the Sounds scored first. It was tied heading into the 9th inning, but only the Knights scored. Marco Hernandez blasted an RBI double to take the lead for the Knights and they would hold on for that win.
In the final matchup of the series, the Sounds and Knights would again come down to the wire and have a dramatic finish. The Sounds tied in the bottom of the 8th inning on a SAC fly from Cooper Hummel, and then in the bottom of the 9th with runners on the corners, Corey Ray hit a ground ball back to the pitcher. It should have been a double play to end the inning, however, the ball was bobbled at second base and it allowed Corey Ray to reach first base and the game-winning run to score.
ANOTHER WALK-OFF WIN! Mitch Longo scores on a fielder’s choice to give the Sounds a 5-4 win! pic.twitter.com/yVVIHtGNRw
— Nashville Sounds (@nashvillesounds) June 28, 2021
Atlanta Braves: Win 3-2, Loss 4-1, Win 4-0
The Atlanta Braves battled the Cincinnati Reds in a 4-game series. Friday’s game the Braves stole 3-2 thanks to the play of Guillermo Heredia as he homered, doubled, and made a great catch deep in the outfield to prevent the Reds from scoring. Drew Smyly earned the victory on the mound after pitching 6 innings. Will Smith picked up his 16th save on the season.
The two teams were back at it the following day and it was a different story. Luis Castillo pitched an incredible game. He threw 7 innings without surrendering a run. Jesse Winkler hit a home run to help get the Reds’ bats going. Nick Castellanos extended his home hitting streak to 18 games in the third inning when he hit an RBI double.
The final matchup between the two teams came on Sunday afternoon. Kyle Muller took the mound for the Braves and got his first career win as the Braves shut out the Reds. Muller struck out a career-high 9 batters and pitched 5 scoreless innings. Acuńa Jr, and Riley both hit solo home runs to help the Braves win and split the series 2-2.
In other Braves’ news, ace pitcher Mike Soroka will not play this season. After heading into the facility late last week, an MRI confirmed Soroka retore his Achilles. He will have season-ending surgery.
Mike Soroka felt a pop in his right Achilles while walking into the clubhouse this past Thursday.
An MRI revealed a "complete re-tear" of the tendon. pic.twitter.com/uhwYVxqk8h
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) June 26, 2021
The Traveler’s Championship made history yesterday. Harry English and Kramer Hickok went into an 8-hole playoff. Finally, Harry English bested Kramer Hickok to earn the victory.
Harris English takes home the 2021 Travelers Championship after this birdie on the eighth playoff hole 👏
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2021
Alex Bowman stole the show at the NASCAR Series at Pocono 325. After starting in position 13, Bowman led for 16 laps and edged out Kyle Busch for the win. This marks Bowman’s 4th top 10 finish since May and his 2nd top 5 finish.
The following day on Sunday at NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono 350 though, Busch got his revenge. Kyle Busch started in 19th place but led the race for 30 laps and ended up winning the race. Kyle Larson came in second and Brad Keselowski in third. This marks Busch’s 4th top 10 finish in his last 5 races.
In the Xfinity Series, Austin Cindric was the victor. He started in 13th and led for 26 laps before pulling off the victory. It was a major bounce-back win for Cindric as he finished 32 last week in Nashville.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Pocono was won by John Hunter Nemechek. Nemechek started in slot 7, and only led the race for 12 laps, but he led the race in the most important lap: the final one. Nemechek beat Kyle Busch for the win. This was Nemechek’s 3rd victory of the year.
Make sure to check out our website later today for the “Fastest Two Minutes (or so) in Sports” to let you know what to watch this evening in sports.