OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt's team leaders had no trouble making a recommendation when coach Tim Corbin came to them to discuss who should play third base after Xavier Turner was ruled ineligible for violating NCAA rules.
Tyler Campbell was an easy choice.
"When Corb came up to us and asked us who deserves a role at third base, our leadership group came together and said Tyler Campbell deserves it just because of the way he practices and the way he's been all year," Vince Conde said. "We trusted him and we knew he could do it. It shows these last two games, what he's done and how big he's been for us so far."
Campbell, who had appeared in 14 games before the College World Series, was 2 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs in Monday night's 9-8 win over Virginia. He's 5 for 12 with four RBIs in his three games here.
His bases-loaded double in the third inning gave the Commodores a 9-2 lead Monday. His bases-loaded infield single in the 10th inning Saturday gave Vanderbilt a 4-3 win over Texas that sent the Commodores to the finals.
"Coach always reminds us that at some point in the season somebody that hasn't necessarily played as much as they would have liked would get a chance to make a difference," second baseman Dansby Swanson said. "He took that to heart and you could tell by his preparation every day, and the way he's come out there, and we just had full confidence in him."
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Virginia's Mike Papi said coach Brian O'Connor's Omaha-area roots are an intangible that helps the team. O'Connor grew up in neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa, and pitched for Creighton in Omaha.