The three-game College World Series final is tied up.
University of Virginia sophomore Brandon Waddell allowed just two runs — one earned — across nine innings and the Cavaliers got 3-for-5 nights from both Joe McCarthy and Kenny Towns in a 7-2 Game 2 win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in Omaha, Nebraska. It was the first career complete game for Waddell, a 20-year-old lefty from Houston, Texas.
Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede was pitching well until the top of the sixth inning, when Virginia poured on three runs on three singles and a triple by center fielder Brandon Downes. Beede, drafted 14th overall by the Giants in this year’s June MLB Amateur Draft, wound up surrendering six total earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. He threw 117 pitches.
Vanderbilt took Game 1 on Monday night, so this College World Series final will come down to a decisive Game 3 on Wednesday. Vandy is seeking its first-ever NCAA national championship in a men’s sport.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.