The Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday afternoon at the College World Series in Omaha, NE. Look inside for highlights, postgame quotes, a play-by-play and more.
Play by Play
Vanderbilt starters: 16/3b Martin; 51/rf Bleday; 10/ss Paul; 5/c
Clarke; 18/cf DeMarco; 19/lf Scott; 2/2b Ray; 20/dh Duvall; 22/1b
Infante; 80/p Rocker;
Mississippi State starters: 15/cf Mangum; 11/ss Westburg; 5/1b Allen;
40/rf MacNamee; 17/2b Foscue; 8/c Skelton; 4/lf R. Jordan; 10/dh
Hatcher; 34/3b Gilbert; 13/p Plumlee;
Vanderbilt 1st – Martin singled to shortstop (2-1 KBB). Martin failed
pickoff attempt. Bleday singled to center field (0-0); Martin
advanced to second. Paul grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b
(3-2 BKBBF); Bleday out on the play; Martin advanced to third.
Clarke struck out swinging (1-2 KBKS). 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1
L O B .
Mississippi State 1st – Mangum singled to left field (2-2 BBKF).
Westburg popped up to rf (0-0). Allen hit by pitch (0-1 K); Mangum
advanced to second. MacNamee struck out swinging (1-2 FFBS). Foscue
popped up to cf (0-1 K). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Vanderbilt 2nd – DeMarco popped up to cf (2-2 KBSB). Scott homered to
right field, RBI (3-2 BKBKFBF). Ray struck out swinging (2-2
KKBBS). Duvall popped up to lf down the lf line (1-0 B). 1 run, 1
hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Mississippi State 2nd – Skelton grounded out to 3b (2-2 KBKB). R.
Jordan struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b (0-2 KSS). Hatcher
struck out swinging (3-2 BKFBBS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Vanderbilt 3rd – Infante grounded out to ss (2-1 BKB). Martin
grounded out to ss (0-0). Bleday walked (3-2 BBKBKFB). Paul struck
out swinging, out at first c to 1b (1-2 BFKS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0
errors, 1 LOB.
Mississippi State 3rd – Gilbert grounded out to p (1-2 BKS). Mangum
grounded out to ss (0-0). Westburg doubled down the rf line (2-1
BBF). Allen grounded out to ss up the middle (1-1 BK). 0 runs, 1
hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Vanderbilt 4th – Clarke singled to right field (1-1 FB). DeMarco
doubled down the rf line (0-2 FFF); Clarke advanced to third. Scott
reached on a fielder’s choice to third base (0-2 KS); Clarke out at
third 3b unassisted. Ray struck out swinging (3-2 BKKFBFBS). Duvall
reached on a fielder’s choice up the middle (0-0); Scott out at
second ss unassisted. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Mississippi State 4th – MacNamee walked (3-2 KBBBFFB). Foscue popped
up to ss (2-2 SSFBB). Skelton struck out swinging (1-2 KSBS). R.
Jordan grounded out to 2b (0-1 F). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Vanderbilt 5th – Infante struck out swinging (1-2 KKBS). Martin hit
by pitch (1-1 BF). Bleday doubled to right center, RBI (2-2 BBFF);
Martin scored. Barlow to p for Plumlee. Paul singled to left field
(0-0); Bleday advanced to third. Clarke walked (3-0 BBBB); Paul
advanced to second. Self to p for Barlow. DeMarco reached on a
fielder’s choice to first base, RBI (0-0); Clarke out at second 1b
to ss; Paul advanced to third; Bleday scored. Scott homered to
right field, 3 RBI (0-0); DeMarco scored; Paul scored. Ray walked
(3-2 FFBBBB). Duvall walked (3-2 BBBKKB); Ray advanced to second.
White to p for Self. Duvall advanced to second on a wild pitch; Ray
advanced to third on a wild pitch. Infante struck out swinging (2-2
BKSBS). 5 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Mississippi State 5th – Hatcher grounded out to 2b (1-1 BS). Gilbert
singled through the right side (2-2 BFBSF). Mangum reached on a
fielding error by 1b (2-1 BBK); Gilbert advanced to second.
Westburg popped up to 2b (0-1 S). Allen lined out to 2b (2-1 KBB).
0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 2 LOB.
Vanderbilt 6th – James to p for White. Martin lined out to lf (0-1
K). Bleday singled to center field (0-0). Bleday advanced to second
on a wild pitch. Paul lined into double play lf to 2b (1-1 BK);
Bleday out on the play. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Mississippi State 6th – MacNamee singled to pitcher (1-2 FSB). Foscue
popped up to lf to left center (0-0); MacNamee advanced to second.
Skelton struck out looking (3-2 SBSBBK). R. Jordan singled through
the left side, RBI (0-1 K); MacNamee scored. Hatcher struck out
swinging (1-2 FFBS). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Vanderbilt 7th – Clarke out at first 1b to p (1-1 BS). DeMarco popped
up to cf to right center (2-2 BSKFFBF). Scott struck out swinging
(0-2 SSFS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Mississippi State 7th – Raby to p for Rocker. Gilbert homered to left
field, RBI (1-0 B). Mangum doubled to left center (0-1 F). Westburg
struck out swinging (3-2 BBBKSS). Allen doubled to left center, RBI
(1-0 B); Mangum scored. MacNamee grounded out to ss (3-2 BSKBBF);
Allen advanced to third. Foscue walked (3-1 BBKBB). Brown to p for
Raby. Skelton struck out looking (1-2 SSBK). 2 runs, 3 hits, 0
errors, 2 LOB.
Vanderbilt 8th – Ray walked (3-2 KBBBFB). Ray failed pickoff attempt.
Ray failed pickoff attempt. Ray failed pickoff attempt. Duvall
struck out swinging (2-2 FBFBS). Ray failed pickoff attempt. Ray
failed pickoff attempt. Ray stole second. Infante struck out
swinging (2-2 KBSBS). Martin grounded out to ss (0-1 F). 0 runs, 0
hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Mississippi State 8th – R. Jordan struck out looking (1-2 BSKK). L.
Jordan pinch hit for Hatcher. L. Jordan singled to left field (3-2
BKBBS). Gilbert grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b (0-1 K);
L. Jordan out on the play. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Vanderbilt 9th – Bleday grounded out to 2b (2-1 BBF). Paul walked
(3-2 BBFBKB). Paul advanced to second on a wild pitch. Clarke
grounded out to 1b unassisted (1-1 BF); Paul advanced to third.
DeMarco hit by pitch (2-0 BB). Cerantola to p for James. Scott
struck out swinging (2-2 BKBFS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Mississippi State 9th – Mangum grounded out to 2b (0-1 K). Westburg
popped up to lf (2-2 BBFF). Allen fouled out to 1b (0-2 KK). 0
runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
TIM CORBIN: Well, we just got a very good start from
a very good pitcher. In order to beat those guys, you
have to be able to command your fastball and breaking
ball and keep them off base and not give them
I thought Kumar responded to his challenge particularly
well, especially once he got done with the first inning,
runners on first and second and an out and got us
deep into the ballgame. Very impressive for sure.
And then the back end of that game, getting those
seven difficult outs was — Tyler’s outing was equally as
impressive at the end. It’s tough to shut them down.
You can feel them coming. But he didn’t allow any
base runners, and at the end, got the last three outs.
Of course Scotty’s hits were the difference in the
ballgame in terms of our scoring.
We had opportunities early and didn’t get a timely hit,
but his first home run kind of broke the game open. I
thought JJ’s double and driving a run in was big for our
kids, and then certainly the ball that Scotty hit out. But
we played good defense behind our pitchers, and we
just moved forward.
Q. How good did it feel to come out and do what
you did today?
STEPHEN SCOTT: Yeah, it felt really good. We went
into this game confident with Kumar on the mound, and
he really showed up, and that’s a pretty scary team top
to bottom, so we were looking to give him some run
Q. Kumar, nobody else here has pitched in Omaha
immediately after throwing a no-hitter. You have.
What’s that pressure like of carrying that into
Omaha, and what did you do to prepare to follow
up a no-hitter throwing in Omaha for the first time?
KUMAR ROCKER: Yeah, the no-hitter, I moved forward
from that. I couldn’t think of that while on the mound. I
knew if I went out there and tried to win that things
would go JJ catching fire, it was a good game.
Q. Kumar, how did you feel about your stuff, and
what was your approach against that lineup?
KUMAR ROCKER: I think they were sitting curveball,
of course, judging by the last outing, and then I just
tried to move the fastball around a little bit and still had
some success with the curveball, and just working
some changeups to the lefties, as well.
Q. Stephen, walk us through those two home runs.
Were you sitting on a certain pitch there? What
STEPHEN SCOTT: Not necessarily. The second one,
runners on first and third, I was just looking to get a
barrel on the ball and hope for the rest.
So like I said, we were trying to give Kumar a little run
support. We were pretty confident up 1-0, but at the
same time we were expecting that they were going to
push, and they ended up doing that, and Tyler came in
and shut them down.
Q. Kumar, what advice do you have for kids who
are facing a pitcher like you?
KUMAR ROCKER: Ooh, say to sit fastball. If they see
my fastball and they sit it, they should have success
Q. Tyler, you’re warm, getting ready to come in in
the seventh inning there, waiting to come out the
bullpen door. How badly did you want to finish that
TYLER BROWN: I wanted to really bad because of last
year. We all know what happened. I feel like I needed
to do it for my team, and I was excited just to do it for
my brothers that were behind me.
Q. Kumar, you didn’t work as quickly as you did
last week. Was it the heat? You were still pretty
good in spite of that, but what was up with the
pacing today? It was a little different than what we
had seen in?
KUMAR ROCKER: Yeah, being in that environment, to
be honest, after the first inning I looked up and said, all
right, I’m good now. That first inning I was a little bit
zoned out, I had to take my time and get my feet under
me and just kind of start cruising. It took me a little bit
to do that. And I wanted to definitely focus on pitching
with that lineup top to bottom.
Q. Kumar, Mississippi State said you throw a slider,
you said a curveball. What makes it so effective I
guess is the question?
KUMAR ROCKER: You’ve got to ask Duke and State
that. I couldn’t tell you, I just throw it.
Q. Tyler, when you come in that early, you’re not
coming in in the ninth, you come in late in the
seventh, how does your job change? How does
your approach change knowing you’ve got to take
it a little longer?
TYLER BROWN: Doesn’t change at all for me. I just
try to do it pitch by pitch, and again, for the brothers
that are behind me because they give me a lot of
confidence, and I have a lot of confidence in them, and
I’ve got to battle, and it doesn’t matter how long or how
many pitches, I’ll do it.
Q. Kumar, a long way off since that last start, and
then it gets pushed an extra day. What did your
last week and a half look like in terms of throwing,
especially when you’re also coming off such a
heavy outing the last time?
KUMAR ROCKER: Right. The staff, the training, the
trainers, they were with me the whole time, and just
stretching, moving the body around, staying loose.
That was really the key to it.
Q. Just looking at Stephen Scott, he’s a guy that hit
with some power obviously last year, but he’s a
much more consistent hitter this year. What have
you seen in his development over the last year as a
TIM CORBIN: Zone control. I just think the ability
when they get older is not to overswing and recruit
power. I think he’s tempered that. I think he’s more
compact, and before he enters the zone with his bat.
He’s a strong kid but he’s shown the ability to hit both
sides of the field. He’s just been consistent throughout
the year. This is the most consistent he’s been.
But when you start piling up at-bats over time, then you
start becoming more experienced, and he’s done that.
Q. Tim, you can tell my Kumar’s body language
he’s really wanting to move beyond the no-hitter.
We talked about that the other day, how he would
handle that. How did he handle that, moving on
from that, to pitch well today?
TIM CORBIN: Well, he handled it well. You never know
when you go into this situation. A lot of that talk is —
it’s barbershop talk, so you’ve got to — the only thing
that you can do is control what’s possible for you, and
he did that. He was in full control of his workouts
leading up to this. He’s been very, very consistent
throughout the year.
He’s a very impressive young guy in terms of his
training habits and his maturity and how he
approaches the game. And to his point, I think once he
got by the first inning, I felt like, okay, he’s going to pitch
well. It’s very difficult to get on the mound for the first
time here in Omaha, especially for a young kid. But I
thought he handled himself appropriately and very well.
Q. Tim, stuff aside, what are the intangible parts of
what Kumar brings to the table that allowed him to
handle the stardom of throwing a no-hitter when
your backs are against the wall, and then coming
here to Omaha and being able to pitch so
TIM CORBIN: I just think he competes well. When it
gets down to it, when you see guys that back up
performances or become consistent, it’s all about
competition and their mindset inside of competition.
He said it, and he just wants to win, and that’s what he
does. He approaches the game that way. There’s no
pomp and circumstance. He’s not trying to posture,
he’s not trying to do anything but get out there and
compete, and he’s a very good competitor. He loves to
compete, and he loves these moments.
So I think that was it. What he told you was true. I
didn’t speak to him this week because if I spoke to him,
it would be different than how I approached him or
handled him during the course of the year. If I’m going
to speak to him, I’m going to speak to him within the
But we moved from that as quickly as possible. The
only time that gets brought up is from the questions
outside of our circle, but he did a nice job.
Q. You brought Raby in; there’s one scenario
where you say if you need a fourth game before the
Championship Series, maybe Patrick starts that
game. Can you walk through kind of what your
thinking is in the long-term of pitching Raby today
and maybe not having him if you need him for a
TIM CORBIN: Well, it was all about winning today. This
was such a crucial game for so many different reasons,
and we were going to utilize whoever we needed today
in order to win that game, whether it’s Raby or whether
it was Hickman. We just wanted to piece that together.
But as we got deeper into that ballgame, we knew we
were going to hand the ball to Patrick and at some
point get Tyler in the game, and if need be, potentially
throw Hickman or one of the lefties. But there was no
long-term plan. You’ve got to be very short-term in this
particular situation because it’s all about today.
Q. Given that he spends every day in the lineup
with JJ and Austin and what they’ve done this year,
do you feel like what Stephen has given you is a
little bit overlooked or underappreciated
TIM CORBIN: No, there’s not one person on the team
that’s overlooked. They play their part to the best of
their ability. They know who they are, they’ve got good
awareness of their skill set, and they stay in their lane.
No one is overlooked. They’re all good players.
Q. What was the approach for you guys against
Plumlee and what impressed you about how early
you were able to chase him and get to him?
TIM CORBIN: Well, I just think not trying to do too
much. He’s a very good pitcher. He’s crafty. His ball
sinks. We had to get him up. We had to get him over
the plate, and we really had to try to use the middle of
the field to the best of our ability.
I thought we were okay. I can’t tell you you walk away
from that one, and we certainly had some good swings,
but we didn’t overwhelm him. I thought he did a nice
job. But we just had to get him in the zone and try to
use the middle of the field.
Q. You touched on it a minute ago there, but could
you maybe speak to the importance of this game
and how it sets you guys up for the rest of the
tournament going forward?
TIM CORBIN: Well, it just sets us up to get to Friday. I
think by winning this game, we just don’t have to play
Thursday. I think Chris would, like any other coach,
you look at day by day by day, we just move the
tournament to Friday, that’s all that matters. We’re not
thinking ahead, we’re just thinking and preparing for
what we’ve got to do. We just wanted to be successful
so we could keep our pitching staff together.
Mississippi State Quotes
CHRIS LEMONIS: Tough game. You’ve got to give
credit to Vanderbilt. I thought Kumar Rocker was really
good to start and Tyler Brown was really good to finish.
We didn’t manage the fifth. The fifth is what gets us a
little bit. But you’ve got to credit their players and
Stephen Scott, he hit a couple balls that changed the
Q. Jake, you’ve seen a lot of talented young
pitchers in your career. What’s your assessment of
Kumar Rocker for Vandy?
JAKE MANGUM: He was able to command two pitches
for strikes. He’s got a fastball that’s mid-90s and a 12-
6 slider that works. He was able to keep us off
balance. He pitched really, really well. He’s a
freshman. That speaks volumes of his last two starts.
The future is really bright for him.
He’s a really talented kid, and he’s going to have a
great career at Vanderbilt.
Q. Keegan, entered in a similar spot to Cole the
other night, they had the lead, and you had to hold
things down. How did you feel like you handled
that situation, and what it was like and the chance
to do it on the big stage?
KEEGAN JAMES: I’ve been in that situation before last
year at Vanderbilt. When Coach calls your name,
you’ve got to be ready. I’ve been putting in a lot of
work the past couple weeks. Had a really good feel for
all three of my pitches for the majority of the game
today, and I just was confident. That’s all it was.
Q. Jake, what about Kumar’s slider makes it just so
difficult to — he generates a lot of swing and miss
off of it, but it’s unconventional.
JAKE MANGUM: I only saw it once, and that was — so
it’s tough for me to tell you about it because the one I
saw I swung and hit the first. But from what I saw from
the dugout, it really looked like it just was on the same
plane as his fastball, and when you’ve got two pitches
that can move completely different ways at completely
different miles per hour, if it comes out of the hand the
same way, it’s going to be tough to keep your balance
and stay behind the ball.
And give him credit, he threw it where he wanted to,
and he’ll do well.
Q. Jake, you guys have been in a similar situation,
regionals and super regionals. You had to win
three or four games in a row in a few days. How
prepared do you feel like you are for a potential
stretch like that?
JAKE MANGUM: I mean, that was a tough one to
swallow, but it is what it is, and we’ve got to go home
tonight and turn the page quick. We’ve got a really
good team tomorrow that we’ve got to play against, and
it’s going to be another great college baseball game in
Omaha. Got to be ready to go.
Q. Chris, Stephen Scott has had a really big year
for those guys. As a coach, what do you see from
him on film, and what did you see from him today
with those two homers?
CHRIS LEMONIS: Their whole lineup has had a really
good year, so as you look at them, I was looking at it
last night, and you’ve got double-digit home runs there
late in their lineup with a couple guys. And I thought
we pitched him good at times and we left some balls
over the plate, and for a good hitter, man, he took
advantage of it and crushed them. He didn’t miss them
and took advantage of our — the pitches that we threw.
Q. Coach, do you expect to see JT Ginn tomorrow?
CHRIS LEMONIS: Yeah, JT will be starting tomorrow
Q. We hear a lot about Kumar’s slider and how well
it’s been working lately. Is that just a pretty good
pitch for a freshman, or is that an elite pitch?
CHRIS LEMONIS: I think it’s an elite pitch because
what he does, he throws you one for a strike, and then
he throws you that one that’s right on the knees and
ends up being — and his slider is a little bit more down
than it is side, so it’s kind of going under a lot of
barrels, and then when you throw 95 on top of it, it just
— you’re having to commit to something pretty early
with him, and that’s what makes it tough.
I thought he just had a lot of poise for a freshman.
Really good job today.
Q. Keegan had a couple of tough outings, and he’s
been kind of up and down this year. What did you
see from him differently today and maybe the last
couple of times he’s been out that’s kind of settled
things down for him and allowed him to come in
and eat up some innings and get some outs?
CHRIS LEMONIS: He’s just commanding the zone.
Like he told you, he had three pitches for strikes, and
when he does that, he’s always been really good. He
just lost the strike zone a little bit at times. When you
have a regional or super regional, you don’t have
midweek games in the conference tournament, so he’s
kind of been that guy that we’ve thrown in the
midweeks in terms of we threw against each other, and
he’s been dominating our hitters the last two weeks in
between the regional and super regional. We had
games where we went Liebelt, Gordon, and that was
pretty much it, so he’s been sitting over there. I had a
good feeling he’d pitch well today.
Q. How did you feel Peyton pitched under the
circumstances there after his first two NCAA
CHRIS LEMONIS: You know, I thought he was great.
We kind of hurt him a little bit in the first because we
don’t catch a ball, he pitches out of it. He pitches out of
the inning in the third where we get to first and second,
and that’s what concerned me in the fifth is there’s an
old coaching rule, there’s three jams, you’re not getting
out of the third one. I go out to get him then, but I
thought he was pretty good. He pitched with good
stuff. It was just a really good lineup that can put
pressure on you with the home run or the runners, but I
was proud of Peyton.
Q. Chris, in the fifth inning there with the bases
loaded, Tanner Allen throws to second. Would you
have preferred for him to try to go home and get
the double play there?
CHRIS LEMONIS: That’s tough. Yeah, probably, in
hindsight. But when you’re in the moment, Tanner
thought he had that double play. He’s played great first
base for us all year. We always say that ball can take
you either way. I just think it was kind of a squib, so I
think that’s the piece that got him a little bit.
Q. I know you probably want it under different
circumstances and obviously there’s a challenge in
facing Louisville tomorrow itself, but have you
thought about maybe how neat it is that Omaha is
going to set you up with Dan and that team?
CHRIS LEMONIS: Yeah, it’s a — we always say if we’re
going to play each other, we’re not scheduling each
other, I can tell you that, but if we play each other, we’d
want it to be Omaha. We were just hoping we were in
different brackets and in the last games. Obviously
one of us will go home, but one of us will get to keep
But the reality is it’s Mississippi State against Louisville,
and Dan nor I get to swing a bat or hopefully him not
steal a base or anything like that. It’ll come down to the
Q. Obviously you’d rather get to Friday today, but
as far as the pitching is concerned, do you feel
pretty good about what you’ve got left? Keegan
got you three innings today. Do you feel good
about what you have left?
CHRIS LEMONIS: I do. You take it day by day and
assess it. That’s all we can do in our world. JT is
fresh, and we’ve got — we didn’t use Cole, we didn’t
use Liebelt, Colby threw a hitter, Trysten threw five
pitches. So we have some guys available, and some
other guys there on the bench. It was nice to see Eric
Cerantola get out there and get a hitter there, so we’d
have him available, too.
Thursday, June 20
Game 10 – Mississippi St (V) vs. Louisville (H), 7 p.m. ET
Friday, June 21
Game 11 – Texas Tech (V) vs. Michigan (H), 2 p.m. ET
Game 12 – Vanderbilt vs. TBA, 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, June 22
Bracket 1 (if necessary) – Texas Tech (V) vs. Michigan (H), 2 p.m. ET or 7 p.m. ET
Bracket 2 (if necessary) – Vanderbilt vs. TBA, 7 p.m. ET