Once again, Vanderbilt put on the rally caps. This time North Carolina State kept a lid on things.
One day after they erased a five-run deficit the Commodores rallied from four down. The Wolfpack, however, staved off elimination on Matt Bergquist's game-winning RBI in the eighth.
With a chance to advance to the super regional round, Vanderbilt lost 6-5 in an NCAA Regional on Sunday in Raleigh, N.C. That set up a final, winner-take-all contest 6 p.m. Monday for the right to play at No. 1 Florida next weekend.
Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin didn’t announce a starting pitcher for Monday's contest but freshman Tyler Beede seems the most likely choice. The right-hander has yet to pitch in the regional.
The second-seeded Commodores (35-27) trailed 5-1 after five innings. But in the next two frames, Mike Yastrzemski and Anthony Gomez drove in two runs apiece. Gomez’s double in the seventh scored Tony Kemp chased starter Anthony Tzamtzis, who allowed just one run on four hits in the first four innings.
On Saturday, No. 1 seed N.C. State (42-18) blew a five-run in the eighth before letting Vanderbilt walk-off with a win in the ninth.
There wasn’t a repeat as the Wolfpack quickly pounced on reliever Drew VerHagen. The right-hander got into trouble with one out after giving up a single and hitting a batter. That set up Bergquist, who drove a single back up the middle to score Brett Austin.
N.C. State right-hander Ryan Wilkins, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to improve to 4-2.
Starter Kevin Ziomek lasted just 3 1/3 innings. The left-hander gave up four runs on five hits and two walks. He was replaced by VerHagen (6-3), who allowed two runs in four innings of relief. He retired eight straight batters before getting into a jam in the eighth.
The loss snapped an eight-game NCAA Regional winning streak for Vanderbilt, dating back to June 5, 2010.