Ability to get past struggles makes Commodores national champions

Vanderbilt’s first national championship in a men’s sport was a long time coming.

It didn’t come easy either.

Tim Corbin’s Commodores won the 2014 College World Series on Wednesday when they defeated Virginia 3-2 in the decisive game of the best-of-three championship series at Omaha.

Along the way Vanderbilt overcame a loss to Stanford in the second game of the Super Regional, a loss to Texas in CWS pool play and a loss to Virginia in the second game of the final series. Each time it staved off elimination with a victory in the next contest.

The last team to lose three times in the NCAA tournament and still win the national championship was Fresno State in 2008.

“I just credit our kids,” Corbin said. “Our ability to come back and be resilient … there’s a toughness, team-character trait that grew within this team and it took a while to grow. But I think they realized if it did they could be in a situation like this.”

Additionally, the Commodores became the 10th Southeastern Conference team (all since 1990) to win the College World Series. However, they were the only one among that group that lost at least 20 games.


2014: Vanderbilt (51-21)
2011: South Carolina (55-14)
2010: South Carolina (54-16)
2009: LSU (56-17)
2000: LSU (52-17)
1997: LSU (57-13)
1996: LSU (52-15)
1993: LSU (53-17-1)
1991: LSU (55-18)
1990: Georgia (52-19)

“I just can’t describe the love and respect that I have for every one of my teammates,” starting pitcher Carson Fulmer said. “My first day here last year … I knew that I had gotten into something very, very, very special.

“I look at all my teammates as my brothers. I look at [Corbin], our pitching coach [Scott Brown] as father figures. Words can’t describe this experience. … I just can’t thank enough everyone being there to pick each other up. It’s something that we always dreamed of doing as a team and we finally accomplished it.”