Suspended because of severe weather Sunday night and postponed another three hours Monday, Cal State Fullerton and Vanderbilt finally concluded the opening round of the College World Series.
It was a game well worth the wait — especially for the defending champion Commodores.
Vanderbilt rallied from a three-run deficit and topped the Titans 4-3 when freshman Jeren Kendall homered into the right-field bullpen with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
The Commodores (48-19) came into Monday down 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Vanderbilt trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth but put up three runs in dramatic fashion to move into the winners’ bracket.
Because of the weather delays, the Florida-Virginia winners’ bracket game didn’t start until late Monday night.
“I dream a lot, and I dream about big moments,’’ said Kendall, who hit the first game-ending homer in the CWS since 2008. “Obviously, hearing the guys talk about their experiences last year kind of made me more comfortable.’’
The Commodores got to business from the hop, with Zander Wiel driving in Rhett Wiseman on a 3-2 pitch after the game finally resumed Monday afternoon for Vanderbilt’s first run.
Fullerton (39-24) then watched things unravel quickly in the ninth.
Wiel led off with a double, then raced home on a double down the left-field line by Bryan Reynolds to make it 3-2.
On Tyler Peitzmeier’s 0-1 offering, Kendall sent a shot 10 rows deep over the right-field line.
The game was initially stopped because of lightning but would be called for the night as major storms rolled in. There was light rain throughout Monday morning, pushing the start time from 11 a.m. locally to 2 p.m.