College World Series 2019: Michigan, Vanderbilt Win on Friday, Advance to FinalJune 21, 2019
The championship at the 2019 College World Series is set after Friday's doubleheader in Omaha.
Michigan, Texas Tech, Louisville and Vanderbilt started the day with dreams of winning a national title still alive. Texas Tech and Louisville were faced with must-win situations to force winner-take-all games Saturday.
Both ultimately came up short in very different ways, setting up a championship series between the powerhouse Vanderbilt Commodores and Cinderella Michigan Wolverines starting on June 24.
College World Series Results: Friday, June 21
Game 11: Michigan def. Texas Tech 15-3
Game 12: Vanderbilt def. Louisville 3-2
Michigan vs. Vanderbilt Championship Series Schedule
Game 1: June 24 at 7 p.m. ET
Game 2: June 25 at 7 p.m. ET
Game 3 (if necessary): June 26 at 7 p.m. ET
Vanderbilt 3, Louisville 2
Louisville's streak of wins in elimination games came to a heartbreaking end at five with Friday's 3-2 loss to Vanderbilt.
The Cardinals entered the game having faced elimination six different times in this year's NCAA tournament. They won the previous five to earn a rematch against the SEC champions, who defeated them 3-1 on June 16.
It looked like Louisville was going to force a winner-take-all rematch Saturday after taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. It scored two runs on a throwing error by Vanderbilt catcher Ty Duvall and RBI single by Lucas Dunn.
Clinging to a one-run advantage in the top of the ninth, Louisville was unable to hold it. JJ Bleday scored the tying run on Ethan Paul's double into the right field corner.
Two batters later, Paul came around to score the go-ahead run when Pat DeMarco chopped one over the head of Louisville third baseman Alex Binelas for a double.
The Commodores turned to closer Tyler Brown, who had 16 saves entering the game, to send them to the championship series. Drew Campbell gave Louisville life with a one-out double, but Brown came back to strike out Justin Lavey and got Henry Davis to pop up to second baseman Harrison Ray for the dramatic final out.
After winning the SEC regular-season title, Vanderbilt has been on a roll in tournament play. The team has won 12 of 13 games in the conference tournament, regionals, super regionals and College World Series.
This year marks the Commodores' first appearance in the championship series since 2015. They are seeking the second title in program history after defeating Virginia in 2014.
Michigan 15, Texas Tech 3
For the first time since 1962, Michigan will play for the College World Series title after a dominant 15-3 win over Texas Tech.
Both teams came out swinging, and Texas Tech held a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the second. The Red Raiders put up a three-spot in the top half of the frame when four consecutive hitters reached base.
Michigan starter Karl Kauffmann settled in after that hiccup. He allowed just three hits over his final four innings. Jeff Criswell came on in relief and allowed one hit with six strikeouts in three innings.
The Wolverines scored two runs in each of the first three innings and put up 13 unanswered runs after falling behind in the second frame. Three of their top four hitters drove in at least three runs apiece. First baseman Jimmy Kerr went 4-for-6 with two homers, three RBI and four runs scored.
As NCAA Baseball reminded everyone on Twitter, Michigan is on a Cinderella run after nearly missing out on the field of 64:
No Big Ten team has won the College World Series since Ohio State in 1966.
Head coach Erik Bakich's team has faced elimination twice this postseason, in the regional against Creighton and the super regional against UCLA. The Wolverines have responded both times, including a 4-2 win at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles to send the top-ranked Bruins home.