NASHVILLE (AP) — Isaiah Thomas hit a grand slam in the top of the 11th inning and Vanderbilt beat Georgia Tech 14-9 on Sunday night to win the Nashville Regional.
Thomas finished 3 for 5 with a double and five RBIs. Enrique Bradfield Jr., Dominic Keegan, Troy LaNeve and Jayson Gonzalez each drove in two runs for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt (53-15), which won the College World Series in 2019 (the 2020 CWS was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic), has won four consecutive regional championships.
Jack Bulger, Keegan and CJ Rodriguez each walked to load the bases and, after Javier Vaz struck out, Thomas hit a rocket down the left-field line that slipped inside the foul pole to give the Commodores a 13-9 lead in the top of the 11th. Carter Young doubled to right field and then scored on a double by Gonzalez to cap the scoring.
Luke Waddell, Kevin Parada, Drew Compton and Stephen Reid each hit a home run for Georgia Tech (31-25). Reid finished with four RBIs and Justin-Henry Malloy went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.
VOLS BEAT LIBERTY TO ADVANCE
Drew Gilbert homered for the third straight game and No. 3 overall seed Tennessee beat No. 3 regional seed Liberty 3-1 in the Knoxville Regional final on Sunday night.
The Volunteers (48-16) beat Liberty twice during the regional and advanced to their first Super Regional since 2005. They will host a best-of-three series next weekend against the Eugene Regional’s Oregon-LSU winner.
Gilbert’s two-run home run in the fifth inning made it 3-0 for Tennessee. He was named the Most Outstanding Player for the regional with his walk-off grand slam in a 9-8 win against Wright State on Friday night helping the Vols avoid a difficult path through the losers bracket.
Tennessee starter Will Heflin (3-3) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Sean Hunley took it from there, allowing one hit for his eighth save.