Vanderbilt Wins College World Series

Thursday, June 26, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. -- When John Norwood stepped into the batter's box in the eighth inning on Wednesday night, in a deadlocked game that would decide the College World Series championship, Vanderbilt hadn't hit a home run since May 16. Just two players had gone deep during the previous 15 games at TD Ameritrade Park.

The best closer prospect in college baseball was on the mound for Virginia. Reds first-round pick Nick Howard had looked untouchable in his first two CWS outings, and his first pitch of the night registered at 97 mph.
With one out, he sent another 97-mph fastball to Norwood, and the junior center fielder tomahawked it to left field. The ball carried into the Cavaliers' bullpen, giving the Commodores a 3-2 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

The victory gave Vanderbilt (51-21) just the second national title in school history -- its women's bowling team won the 2007 championship -- and the first for a men's program.

It didn't come easy for the Commodores. Swanson led off the game with a single and scored on a throwing error by Cavaliers sophomore catcher Robbie Coman. Virginia pulled sophomore right-hander Josh Sborz after a shaky first inning, and senior righty Artie Lewicki held Vanderbilt scoreless until an unearned run in the sixth. Norwood reached on an infield hit, advanced to second on an errant throw by junior third baseman Kenny Towns and scored on another infield hit by junior shortstop Vince Conde.

With the way Commodores sophomore right-hander Carson Fulmer had pitched to that point, a two-run lead looked huge. The likely 2015 first-round pick had allowed just one infield hit and one walk through the first five innings, dealing 92-96-mph fastballs and getting strikeouts with his slider and changeup. His performance was all the more impressive considering that Virginia (53-16) had strafed Vanderbilt for 28 hits in the first two games of the CWS championship series.

The Cavaliers rallied in the bottom of the sixth, however, consistently squaring up Fulmer's pitches for the first time all night. Coman led off with a single, Swanson robbed junior second baseman Branden Cogswell of a hit with a diving play and Daniel Pinero drove in Coman with another single. When Fulmer walked junior first baseman Mike Papi, his night suddenly was over.

Freshman right-hander Hayden Stone, who won a CWS semifinal game with 5 2/3 innings of one-run relief against Texas, took over and hit sophomore right fielder Joe McCarthy to load the bases. Stone recovered to fan junior left fielder Derek Fisher on a nasty slider and appeared to get out of the inning when Towns smashed a ball to Conde. But Conde fumbled the ball, allowing Pinero to tie the score at 2.

Virginia left the bases loaded when Stone whiffed sophomore designated hitter John LaPrise on another slider, and they stranded three runners again in the bottom of the eighth. Papi singled, and McCarthy walked to chase Stone and bring on junior right-hander Adam Ravenelle. Fisher sacrificed the runners to second and third before Ravenelle hit Towns to load the bases.

But the latest in a series of unlikely CWS heroes for the Commodores wouldn't falter. Ravenelle induced groundouts from LaPrise and junior center fielder Brandon Downes, then retired the Cavaliers in order in the ninth. He struck out Pinero on an 86-mph slider to end it.

That gave Ravenelle his third career save -- all of which came in this CWS. He pitched just 22 innings in his first two seasons in Nashville, and in his last outing before Omaha, he gave up a walk-off homer in the second game of the Super Regionals.

The championship was a crowning achievement for Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin. The Commodores made just three NCAA tournament appearances in the first 56 years of the event before hiring Corbin before the 2003 season. Corbin has built them into a national power, making 10 tournament appearances in 12 years, but they reached the CWS just once, finishing third in 2011.

Throughout the CWS, Corbin repeatedly deflected praise and attention to his players and his university. 

---- Source: MLB.com


Dalton State 77, Blue Mountain 64

The Dalton State basketball Roadrunners maintained their lead in the Southern States Athletic Conference with a 77 to 64 win over visiting Blue Mountain Thursday night at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center’s Mashburn arena. An official attendance of 985 saw the Toppers jump out to a five point lead (8-3 and again at 11-6 and 12-7) The Roadrunners fought back ... (click for more)

Poole To Run At Dalton State

The defending Southern States Athletic Conference champions Dalton State women’s cross country team has everybody coming back from last year’s squad, but they have added another component to this fall’s team. Coach Margie Bruner visited the Heritage High School media center in Ringgold to add her third Lady General to the squad. Emily Poole signed with the Roadrunners Thursday ... (click for more)

Girl, 12, Stabs Boy, 13, Twice At Lookout Valley Middle High School

A female student stabbed a male student twice at Lookout Valley Middle High School on Thursday morning. It happened in a middle school classroom. Sheriff Jim Hammond the students are seventh graders.The girl is 12 and the boy 13. He  said the boy was taken by ambulance and went into surgery after the mid-morning stabbing.  He said the boy received a superficial ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Officer Who Fired At Vehicle That Backed Toward Him; Attorney Vows To Fight To Reverse Decision

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Magic Bank Account

As the month of January is almost out the door, I am opening my email today to share a marvelous story that legend has it was printed on piece of paper found in Bear Bryant’s wallet when he died in 1983. While I don’t know that the famed Alabama football coach had this lesson in his wallet, chances are he might have if he’d read it. * * * THE BANK ACCOUNT & RULES Imagine ... (click for more)