PNC Park in Pittsburgh opened 18 years ago. It sits on the banks of the Allegheny River, just a tad to the east of where it meets up with the Monongahela to form the Ohio. The river flows beyond — way beyond — the right field stands.
Several players have hit homers that have ended up in the river, but the vast majority of those bounced first. Before today, only three people had hit home runs into the river on the fly: Daryl Ward of the Astros and Garret Jones and Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates. Today Josh Bell of the Pirates became the fourth guy to do it.
Bell took an extraordinarily straight one-ball, no-strike fastball from Shelby Miller and sent it out 472 feet to right, splashing down:
You’re not gonna find many fastballs that are that hittable, but even so, that was a hell of a rip from Bell.
Vanderbilt defeated Michigan 8-2 in a decisive Game 3 on Wednesday night to win the College World Series. It’s Vanderbilt’s first championship since 2014 when the school defeated Virginia 3-2. Surprisingly, the 10 combined runs made this the highest-scoring College World Series-clinching game since 2009 when LSU beat Texas 11-4.
Michigan got on the board early, beginning the top of the first with three consecutive singles to take a 1-0 lead. Vanderbilt tied it at 1-1 with a solo homer from Pat DeMarco.
Vanderbilt took control of the game in the third and fourth innings, scoring three and two times, respectively. In the third, DeMarco drew a bases loaded walk and Stephen Scott followed up with a two-run single to make it 4-1. In the fourth, Vandy got a run on an RBI single from J.J. Bleday and a sacrifice fly from Ethan Paul. Harrison Ray added an RBI single in the seventh to pad the lead to 7-1. After Michigan scratched out another run in the top of the eighth, Vanderbilt got it right back in the bottom half thanks to an RBI single by Philip Clarke.
On the pitching side of things, Mason Hickman delivered six strong innings for Vandy. He yielded the lone run on four hits and three walks while striking out 10. He gave way to Jake Eder in the seventh, who worked a 1-2-3 frame. Eder remained in the game for the eighth, relenting a run on a two-out double, but it was too little, too late for Michigan. Going out in the ninth inning for a third inning, Eder worked around a two-out walk to close out the ballgame in an 8-2 victory for Vanderbilt.