OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt's Tyler Campbell hadn't had an official at-bat in almost six weeks or a hit in more than two months. It had been three months since his one and only start of the season.
When he showed up at TD Ameritrade Park on Friday, his name was on the lineup card for a game against Texas in the College World Series.
Campbell was needed at third base after the NCAA on Thursday declared Xavier Turner ineligible for an unspecified violation of NCAA rules. Turner is out for the rest of the CWS.
Campbell replaced a lineup mainstay in Turner, who had improved his .284 season average to .333 in the Commodores' first two games in Omaha.
"Tyler jumped in right away," Vandy coach Tim Corbin said. "We told him last night that he was going to play. The third-base position for us was either one or two guys, and he's been a kid that's waited very patiently and worked hard to keep himself on balance in case he had to play. I thought he came in today and gave us a shot in the arm."
Campbell, who came in batting .133 in 15 at-bats, was 2 for 3. He singled to right in the third inning, struck out in the fifth and singled to right in the ninth.
The sophomore from Portland, Oregon, said he was well-prepared for his start.
"The guys who don't play in the games, we have a lot of game-like situations that we're competing in every day," he said, "and so keeping a competitive edge isn't tough while training."
Campbell will be in the lineup again Saturday when Vanderbilt plays Texas to go to the best-of-three finals.
"I told him last night this is a great opportunity for a kid like him, and he went in there unaffected and played well," Corbin said, "so he'll get that opportunity again."