Nashville Regional roundup: Vandy cruises past Xavier, Oregon routs Clemson
MAY 31, 2014 2:02a ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After leading the nation in victories last season, junior Tyler Beede figured to be Vanderbilt's pitching ace again this season.
As the starter atop the Commodores' rotation all year, he has been up and down -- much like his team -- in posting a rather pedestrian 7-7 record. But in host Vanderbilt's 11-0 win over Xavier on Friday night in the opening round of the Nashville Regional in the NCAA Tournament, he looked like the Beede of 2013 with 14 wins.
With a career-high 14 strikeouts, Beede (8-7) was back to his old self against the Musketeers, yielding only four hits over eight innings. Only two Xavier base runners could reach as far as second base off Beede, who allowed only one hit against the last 17 batters he faced.
"I thought it was a well-pitched game by Tyler, a very good game in a lot of different ways," said Commodores coach Tim Corbin, whose team matched its NCAA tourney record of 11 runs in a game, last done against Oregon State in 2011 en route to the team's only College World Series berth.
"(Beede) controlled the count," Corbin added. "He had to come back from long offensive breaks, which isn't always easy. He set the tone for our team. He got a lot of outs by himself."
Vanderbilt (42-18), the regional's top seed, advanced to play No. 2 Oregon (43-18) in a winner's bracket game on Saturday night. The Ducks opened the double-elimination tourney with an 18-1 win over Clemson (37-23), which plays Xavier (29-28) on Saturday afternoon in an elimination game.
Beede and the Commodores appear happy to put a regular season behind them that saw them finish sixth in the Southeastern Conference standings. They were eliminated from the league tourney last week by losing the last two games by a combined score of 18-3.
"Certainly, the (regular) season was what it was," Beede said, "and we all kind of want to refresh and begin a new season, obviously being the postseason. So, the coaches and players I've been playing with, we just want to go have fun."
The game's start was pushed back an hour and 47 minutes because of lightning in the area. But the nearly two-hour delay was no hindrance to Beede, who picked up his first win (May 2 at Missouri) in four outings.
"I thought Tyler Beede has his good stuff today," Xavier coach Scott Googins said. "I heard that he had been a little bit erratic lately. He didn't show that today. I thought his slider was on.
"The scouting report said lay off his slider. Our guys had a hard time picking it up, and he was throwing it for strikes."
After scoring single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the 20th-ranked Commodores blew the game open with a seven-run sixth inning for a 9-0 bulge. Vanderbilt sent a dozen batters to the plate to chase Xavier starter Vinny Nittoli (6-4).
Center fielder John Norwood led the Commodores with three hits, while third baseman Zavier Turner had two hits and three RBI. Left fielder Bryan Reynolds also had two hits.
After getting just one hit the first three innings off Nittoli, the Commodores got on the scoreboard first in the fourth frame. After shortstop Vince Conde walked and first baseman Zander Wiel was hit by a pitch, Turner doubled over the head of the first baseman to score Conde. But Nittoli struck out Norwood with runners at second and third to get out of the inning down just 1-0.
The Commodores added another run in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead. Catcher Jason Delay got the rally started with a one-out single, moved to third on a two-out double by Reynolds and scored on a wild pitch by Nittoli.
It appeared the Musketeers might break through against Beede in the third inning when the bottom two hitters in the order, third baseman Stephen Schoettmer and second baseman Michael Moore, had consecutive singles with one out. But Beede struck out leadoff hitter Mitch Elliott for a second time and got first baseman Joe Forney to fly out lazily to right field to end the threat.
Oregon 18, Clemson 1
Oregon pounded a season-high 20 hits in its 18-1 whipping of Clemson in the opening-game of the Nashville Regional. The Ducks had two home runs, three triples, four doubles and had eight players with multiple hits.
Oregon (43-18) scored 15 of its runs during a three-inning stretch. The Ducks started the barrage with five runs in the fourth inning to chase Clemson starter Matthew Crownover (8-6), who entered the game with a 2.26 earned run average.
In the fifth inning, Oregon sent 11 batters to the plate, getting back-to-back home runs by junior catcher Shaun Case and senior right fielder Tyler Baumgartner with a solo homer. After Case's cracked a three-run home run, his team-leading 13th of the season, Baumgartner followed with a solo shot.
While Oregon was knocking the ball all over the park, junior left-hander Tommy Thorpe (11-4) was thwarting the Tigers' offense that came into NCAA tourney averaging 5.6 runs per game. The first-team All-Pac-12 Conference pitcher allowed only five hits and one earned run in seven innings.
"It's one day, one game," Oregon coach George Horton aid. "Certainly, it was a combination of a lot of good things.
" â¦ Sometimes as a coach, you go let's save some of those hits for tomorrow. We're not going to hit 20 hits every single time out."