In what was likely his final collegiate start, Vanderbilt ace Carson Fulmer struck out eight in a dominant effort to pitch the Commodores to a 5-1 win over Virginia in Game 1 of the best-of-three College World Series finals.
Fulmer allowed just two hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, demonstrating why he was selected eighth overall in the Major League Baseball draft two weeks ago. The junior right-hander matched Tyler Beede's school record with his 14th win of the season.
With two outs in the eighth inning and Vanderbilt holding a 5-0 lead, UVa leadoff man Adam Haseley doubled to center and Daniel Pinero worked a walk. An emotional Fulmer handed the ball to lefty reliever Ben Bowden, who kept the shutout bid intact by getting Matt Thaiss to fly out to short center field.
Jack Gerstenmaier broke up the shutout with a pinch-hit RBI single off Kyle Wright in the ninth inning, but Kevin Doherty struck out swinging and Ernie Clement popped to center to end it.
Dansby Swanson and Bryan Reynolds each had two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Vanderbilt, which can close out its second straight CWS title with a win over Virginia on Tuesday.
Connor Jones gave up four runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings for Virginia.