Campbell star keeps shining for Commodores at CWS

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 24, 2014 at 2:28 am •  Published: June 24, 2014
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — It's hard to believe Tyler Campbell came into the College World Series with two hits all season.

He's got five in Omaha so far, none bigger than his bases-loaded double that highlighted Vanderbilt's nine-run third inning in a 9-8 win over Virginia in Game 1 of the CWS finals Monday night.

"I guess Tyler is a veteran now. He's played in three games," Commodores coach Tim Corbin said. "He takes advantage of key situations... He's played with a great heartbeat."

Campbell, who appeared in only 14 games before the CWS, was put into the lineup as the fill-in for third baseman Xavier Turner, who was declared ineligible on Friday for violating NCAA rules. He's 5 for 12 at the CWS and has been solid with his glove.

If he keeps playing like this, there'll be a spot for him on the all-tournament team.

Campbell had two hits against Texas on Friday, legged out a bases-loaded grounder to drive in the winning run in the 10th inning against the Longhorns on Saturday, and then had two doubles and three RBIs on Monday.

"I'm confident, yeah," Campbell said. "Against Texas the other night I didn't think I had a great game, but I think that actually helped me to stay with my approach and try to hit balls hard on the ground. I feel like I'm seeing pitches well, so that is the best deal."

The Commodores (50-20) can win their first national championship in a men's sport with a win Tuesday night.

Monday's win came after Virginia starter Nathan Kirby imploded in the third. The Commodores hung on to win after the Cavaliers nearly came back from a seven-run deficit.

"We're fortunate to win that game, for sure," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "No one could have scripted that particular game, and if anyone said they could, they're lying. I don't think you could have called a nine-run inning."

Virginia (52-15) scored three in the third, two in the fifth and another in the eighth. Had it not been for Vanderbilt reliever John Kilichowski getting a cleat on the ball to slow down and redirect a comebacker, saving a run in the eighth, the Cavaliers would have tied it.