NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- It was a hot, humid day on West End but worth it for fans, as Vanderbilt took down East Carolina 4-1, completing the Super Regional sweep and earning a trip to Omaha for the fifth time in program history.
Pitcher Jack Leiter had another impressive outing, going seven innings, allowing only one run on two hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Carter Young came through with a big hit in the fifth and the Commodores tacked on insurance late to get it done in front of a sellout crowd at Hawkins Field.
While Leiter has been a key part of the Vandy Boys’ pitching rotation, he hasn’t yet made a trip to the College World Series, with last year’s baseball season being shortened by COVID-19. Making it to Omaha was something these players had their minds set on since day one.
“This is why you come to Vanderbilt, for moments like this. This season would’ve felt incomplete if we didn’t make it this far, so I’m just happy for the team and I can’t wait to celebrate with them,” said Leiter.
As for Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin, he’s more than familiar with this trip, leading his teams to National Championships in 2014 and 2019. But he made it clear this isn’t about his success, this is about the players and seeing their joy.
“I take great pride in enjoying what the kids are enjoying, and that’s how I feel. If they’re happy, then I’m happy and that’s all I care about,” said Corbin.
This Vanderbilt team is one of the youngest teams in the country and only returns ten players from the 2019 squad that won it all. And pitcher Kumar Rocker is the only one who actually played in the College World Series that year.
First up for Vanderbilt in Omaha will be the winner of the Arizona-Ole Miss in the Tucson Super Regional. The Wildcats are up 1-0 in the series with a chance to move on with a win Saturday night.