It's not often you get to walk off on your opponent's home field.
But if that's what you need to survive in the postseason, that's just fine by me.
Thanks to freshman Tommy Edman's two-run walk-off blast against Indiana, the Stanford Cardinal are moving on to the NCAA Super Regionals after winning the Bloomington Regional. The four-ssed Cardinal needed two wins against the host Hoosiers to capture the regional, and a three-run go-ahead homer in Game 1, followed by Edman's walk off, were the difference makers.
What makes it even more dramatic is that in the new world of college baseball, home runs are like spinning a win on the slot machines.
And Stanford came up with triple sevens and jackpots over and over again because Mark Marquess has spent his entire life at that slot machine and apparently knows just when a big spin is about to drop. That's the only expalnation I can think of for Wayne Taylor and Dominic Jose's critical pinch-hit homers in back-to-back games against the Hoosiers.
Now, Stanford is the lone surviving Pac-12 team. Are the Cardinal really among the top 16 teams in the nation? No, at least if the regular season is any indication of quality. But that doesn't matter any more.
And the Cardinal now draws perennial power Vanderbilt, whose conference also had an underwhelming first weekend of the tournament (only 3 of 10 SEC teams are moving on).
The Commodores stumbled into the tournament, dropping 4 of their last 6 games, including getting run ruled in the SEC tournament by LSU. And after bullying their way past number 5 overall seed Indiana, perhaps the last team the Commodores wants to see is a suddenly-hot Stanford team.
It's worth noting in this space that the Cardinal team of a year ago, with an immensely talented roster that included first overall pick Mark Appel, didn't even make the NCAA regionals. But maybe this year's team is kind of like the team that Herb Brooks wanted in "Miracle" - not the collection of the best players, but the best team.
And sometimes a lucky spin of the wheel helps too.