Virginia beats Vanderbilt 4-2 in Game 3 of the College World Series to claim first national title

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Vanderbilt University looked poised to repeat as national champions in the first inning of Wednesday night’s winner-take-all College World Series Game 3 when No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson drove in a run with a groundout to third base and 12th-round draft pick Zander Wiel followed with an RBI double.

But those were the only two runs the Commodores would score in an eventual 4-2 loss to Virginia.

UVA tied the game in top of the fourth inning on a two-run homer to right field by standout freshman Pavin Smith and then took the lead for good in the top of the fifth inning when Smith smacked an RBI single to left. Kenny Towns, a 20th-round pick of the Angels in this month’s MLB Draft, poured on another insurance run for the Cavaliers in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI single of his own.

Virginia left-hander Brandon Waddell was locked in after that shaky first inning, yielding only two hits over his final six frames. Nathan Kirby, whom the Brewers took 40th overall earlier this month, entered in the eighth and struck out the first batter he faced. Kirby then walked Vanderbilt’s Rhett Wiseman, but he got Swanson on a check-swing strikeout and Wiel on a full whiff. Kirby yielded a two-out single in the ninth but pinch-hitter Kyle Smith couldn’t extend the action, watching a nasty 1-2 slider that wound up in the center of the plate.

This is the first-ever NCAA baseball championship for Virginia. They lost Game 1 on Monday night but bounced back for a 3-0 victory on Tuesday and played inspired ball in a tense Game 3 on Wednesday.

UVA is only the third school to drop the first game of a College World Series Final and go on to win it all.

This is also the first national championship in baseball for the ACC since 1955, when Wake Forest won.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.