Vanderbilt’s success at the College World Series started – in more ways than one – with Dansby Swanson.
The sophomore second baseman was Vanderbilt’s leadoff hitter, which made him his team’s launching point in the most literal sense. Every game he got the first look at opposing pitchers and had the first chance to make something happen.
In that role, though, he was the one who often got things going. That certainly was the case in Wednesday’s 3-2 championship-clinching victory over Virginia.
When all was said and done, therefore, Swanson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 College World Series.
“We came in knowing that we needed to be the aggressors and set the tone from the very beginning. That was just my job to just try to make something happen, be aggressive at the plate [and] on the bases and make Virginia feel our presence was there.
“It ended up working out for me and we were able to put together some things from being aggressive. When we’re able to put pressure on people it’s hard to handle us.”
Swanson led off Wednesday’s game with a single on the first pitch of the night. He scored the first run a short time later following a stolen base, half of a double-steal that prompted a throwing error.
It was typical of what he did for much of the Commodores’ seven games in Omaha. He scored in four of Vanderbilt’s five CWS victories. Maybe it was coincidence (likely it was not), he also stole a base in those same four contests.
(at College World Series)
vs. Louisville: 2-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 SB
vs. UC-Irvine: 3-5, 2 runs, 0 RBI, 1 SB
vs. Texas: 0-4, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 0 SB
vs. Texas: 2-5, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 0 SB
vs. Virginia: 1-3, 1 run, 0 RBI, 1 SB
vs. Virginia: 0-4, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 0 SB
vs. Virginia: 2-5, 1 run, 0 RBI, 1 SB
Totals: 10-31(.323), 5 runs, 1 RBI, 4 SB
In addition to his Most Outstanding Player award, Swanson was one of four Vanderbilt players named to the all-tournament team.
2014 Men's College World Series All-Tournament Team
Catcher: Nate Irving, Virginia
First Base: Kevin Cron, TCU
Second Base: Branden Cogswell, Virginia
Third Base: Tyler Campbell, Vanderbilt
Shortstop: C.J. Hinojosa, Texas
Outfield: John Norwood, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Rhett Wiseman, Vanderbilt
Outfield: Brandon Downes, Virginia
Designated Hitter: Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
Pitcher: Artie Lewicki, Virginia
Pitcher: Brandon Waddell, Virginia
Most Outstanding Player: Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
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