NASHVILLE — Vanderbilt took advantage of Stanford's sputtering start Friday to beat the Cardinal 11-6 and put the Commodores one win away from their first World Series berth since 2011.
"It's a pretty cool feeling, we just have to play how we're playing and everything will work out," Vanderbilt freshman Bryan Reynolds said.
Game 2 of the Super Region series is today.
Reynolds matched his career-best with four hits and two RBIs.
"He's a guy that can do a little bit of everything," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said.
Stanford, coming off a walkoff win in the regions at Indiana on Monday, couldn't have started much worse. The Cardinal walked five of Vanderbilt's first nine batters as the Commodores (45-18) took a 10-0 lead through three innings.
Cardinal coach Mark Marquess said starter John Hochstatter was out of synch in his "poorest outing" this season. The junior walked five and allowed five runs in one inning.
Stanford (34-25) had strung together six straight runs in the fourth and fifth to pull to 10-6. Reynolds broke a stretch of three scoreless Vandy innings with a hit to score Dansby Swanson in the bottom of the seventh.
Commodores starter Tyler Beede, drafted 14th overall Thursday by the Giants, pitched three scoreless innings before faltering, giving up back-to-back singles to open the fourth and consecutive walks to start the fifth.
Texas 4, Houston 2: Nathan Thornhill pitched seven solid innings, fellow senior Mark Payton hit a two-run homer and the host Longhorns won their Super Region opener. "This is where this program belongs," Thornhill said. "We wanted to be a part of getting it back."
The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits for Texas (42-19), trying for its record 35th appearance in the World Series after missing out on Omaha the past two years. Payton had three hits, connecting in the first for his second home run in 415 at-bats.
"We just haven't seen any go out of this park ever, so you just hold your breath," Texas coach Augie Garrido said of Payton's homer, just the fifth by UT in 32 home games this year.
Payton and Thornhill were picked in the 16th and 24th rounds, respectively, of the MLB draft last year but chose to return. Their reason: a desire to help the Longhorns return to the World Series, where they haven't been since their freshman seasons.
"It took four months of begging on my part," Garrido joked.
The Longhorns made it 4-0 by the time Houston (48-16) scored its only two runs in the fifth, starting the inning with three straight singles.
L'ville 5, Kennesaw St. 3: Freshman Nick Solak's two-run double in the eighth helped the host Cardinals rally past the Owls (40-23) in their Super Region opener. Louisville (49-15) scored three in the eighth, moving within a win of its second straight World Series berth and third since coach Dan McDonnell was hired in 2007. McDonnell replaced Lelo Prado, who left to take over his hometown USF Bulls. Prado stepped down as USF's coach after this season.
Football: Northwestern running back Malin Jones is transferring, the school announced. Jones had three rushes as a redshirt freshman last season. He was one of Northwestern's top recruits two years ago.
Basketball: Samford announced the departure of coach Bernie Seltzer and promoted former Kentucky and NBA player Scott Padgett to replace him. Seltzer was 24-41 and had 14 players transfer from the program during his two seasons. The Birmingham, Ala., school didn't say whether he was fired or resigned. Padgett, 37, was a first-round draft pick of the Jazz in 1999, 28th overall. He played eight seasons with four teams. The two-time All-SEC forward helped the Wildcats win the 1998 national championship. He promised a pressing style of play similar to the systems he played in under Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith at Kentucky.