Heyward leads Miami to walk-off win at CWS
Younger brother of Cards outfielder delivers in day of close contests in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. -- The College World Series produced more than 10 hours of drama on Monday at TD Ameritrade Park.
A long day that opened with Vanderbilt hitting the first walk-off home run in stadium history ended with a 1-0 pitchers' duel won by Virginia. In between, Miami outfielder Jacob Heyward -- the younger brother of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward -- added another walk-off to keep his Hurricanes alive in Omaha.
The result was three one-run ballgames: Vanderbilt beat Cal State Fullerton, 4-3, No. 5 Miami eliminated Arkansas by the same score, and Virginia edged No. 4 Florida, 1-0.
Virginia left-hander Brandon Waddell -- the Pirates' fifth-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft -- held Florida to just two hits over seven-plus shutout innings, but was removed in the eighth after putting the first two batters on. Right-handed reliever Josh Sborz, a second-round pick of the Dodgers, recorded three straight outs -- including a fielder's choice comebacker that knocked off his glove.
"That was just a bad-luck thing," said Florida's Dalton Guthrie, who was on third. "That's just the way it happened tonight. He did a great job getting out of it and that's just baseball."
Heyward's walk-off capped an impressive day in which he went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, three RBIs, two runs scored and stole a base while accounting for all four of the Hurricanes' runs.
When Heyward was introduced at the postgame press conference, Miami coach Jim Morris said his outfielder had earned the right to be called "Mr. Heyward."
"Mr. Heyward's day, goodness gracious," said Morris of Heyward, who failed to drop down a bunt before the game-winner. "It was one of those days. Of course he ripped it and you knew he was going to score when they did that."
Heyward's single followed the walk-off homer by Vanderbilt freshman Jeren Kendall, whose team got new life thanks to Mother Nature.
Vanderbilt was stymied Sunday by Cal State Fullerton right-hander Thomas Eshelman (second round, Astros) before lightning and rain suspended play. The game resumed with the Commodores trailing, 3-1, in the sixth inning. First baseman Zander Wiel hit an RBI double on the first pitch of the day and began the ninth-inning rally with another double before Kendall eventually walked it off.
"I dream a lot, so I dream a lot about big moments," Kendall said when asked if he ever envisioned hitting a walk-off in Omaha. "Just hearing the guys talk about their experiences last year kind of made me a little more comfortable, obviously coming in here as a freshman not knowing what it's like. So, yeah, I felt pretty comfortable today."
Vanderbilt 4, Cal State Fullerton 3*
No. 5 Miami 4, Arkansas 3
Virginia 1, No. 4 Florida 0
No. 2 Louisiana State vs. Cal State Fullerton, 3 p.m.
No. 7 Texas Christian vs. Vanderbilt 8 p.m.
*Resumed from Sunday night