OMAHA (AP/ABC 13) - Vanderbilt capitalized on Virginia starter Nathan Kirby's sudden loss of control to score nine runs in the third inning, then held off the Cavaliers to win 9-8 in Game 1 of the College World Series finals Monday night.
Virginia had 15 hits. Vanderbilt had six.
UVa's disastrous inning was the third. Ace pitcher Nathan Kirby walked five batters in that inning and in the process walked in three straight runs. The Commodores had just three hits in the inning but those walks and a Mike Papi error allowed Vandy to score nine runs in the inning.
The Cavaliers slowly climbed back in it with runs in the 3rd, 5th, and 8th innings but still came up short.
The Commodores (50-20) can win their first national championship in a men's sport with a win Tuesday night.
Tyler Campbell continued his improbable breakout for the Commodores, doubling twice in the third inning. His second double came off reliever Whit Mayberry with the bases loaded to put Vanderbilt up 9-2.
But Virginia (52-15) chipped away, scoring three runs in the third, two in the fifth and another in the eighth to make it a one-run game.
Game two of the best of three series is Tuesday at 8 p.m.