In the highly anticipated rematch of last years College World Series final, it was the Vanderbilt Commodores who struck first, as they won Game 1 over Virginia by a score of 5-1. In a game that was scoreless for five and a half innings, Vandy’s Will Toffey smacked a two-run double to break the tie in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ro Coleman tacked on an RBI single to put the Commodores up 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Dansby Swanson, the first overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft, would add an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh. Bryan Reynolds also added an insurance RBI single to put the game slightly out of reach for the Cavaliers at 5-0.
With a comfortable margin to work with in the seventh inning, Carson Fulmer would proceed to keep on cruising to earn the win— his 14th of the year. Fulmer, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the MLB draft, pitched 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, while striking out eight batters in what should be his final outing as an amateur.
Virginia starting pitcher Connor Jones started the game just fine, tossing five scoreless innings. He then ran into trouble in the sixth and seventh innings, and ended his night giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while taking his third loss of the year.
Swanson, who had been struggling in the CWS, went 2-4 with two hits and an RBI.
Vanderbilt could win the College World Series title and repeat as champs if they win again Tuesday, as it is a best-of-three series. The two teams will tangle again on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. If Virginia wins Tuesday, then the do-or die game is set for Wednesday.