Vanderbilt is still alive in the College World Series.
The Commodores beat a shorthanded NC State 3-1 on Friday to force an if necessary game Saturday afternoon. Friday’s game was delayed an hour after a multiple NC State players were put into COVID-19 protocols.
Game delayed due to COVID-19 protocols
The game was originally scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET but was pushed back to just after 3 p.m. ET after players warming up for the game were pulled off the field within an hour of the first pitch.
"An undisclosed number of players from the team have been put into COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for today's game," NC State said in a statement. "NC State, the NCAA and appropriate parties are working together to monitor the situation."
Approximately 20 minutes after the game was originally set to start, the College World Series said it would begin at 3:07 p.m. ET.
According to the ESPN broadcast, second baseman J.T. Jarrett and closer Evan Justice were not at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on Friday. And the Wolfpack began the game with far more players unavailable as well.
NC State began the game with just nine position players and four pitchers available. The team reportedly met before the game to decide whether to forfeit or play and said they would play.
You could see just how short NC State is on players here.
NC State was 2-0 in the CWS entering Friday's game. The Wolfpack beat Stanford 10-4 to open the College World Series and then beat Vanderbilt 1-0 on Monday night. Because of that 1-0 victory, NC State could have advanced to the championship series with a win on Friday. Instead, the winner of Saturday's game will advance while the loser is eliminated from the tournament.
The championship series starts on Monday, June 28.
NC State coach: 'My job is to teach them baseball'
NC State coach Elliott Avent said after the loss that he didn’t want to talk about whether or not he was vaccinated — as he didn’t want to “talk politics or stuff like that.”
He also said that he didn’t want to push the vaccination on his players, even though that could have helped them significantly on Friday.
“My job is to teach them baseball, make sure they get an education and keep them on the right track forward,” Avent said, . “But I don’t try to indoctrinate my kids with my values or my things like that, my opinions. Obviously we talk about a lot of things, but these are young men that can make their own decisions and that’s what they did.”
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