Just after 2 a.m. EST Saturday, the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee declared the Vanderbilt-NC State Men’s College World Series game scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. Central time a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols.
“This decision was made based on the recommendation of the Championship Medical Team and the Douglas County Health Department,” a statement reads. “As a result, Vanderbilt will advance to the CWS Finals. The NCAA and the committee regret that NC State’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to continue in the championship in which they earned the right to participate. Because of privacy issues, we cannot provide further details.”
“This is a heartbreaking situation and I’m gutted for everyone involved and for all those that were captivated by the heart and fight of this team,” NC State head baseball coach Elliott Avent said. “Our medical staff and our players have been incredible this season with all they’ve done to keep us safe and get us ready to play, day in and day out.”
ESPN reports that Avent asked his players if they wanted to forfeit Friday afternoon’s CWS Bracket 1 final — they’d need to lose twice to Vanderbilt to be eliminated — and it took roughly 6 seconds for the Wolfpack to say no. Then they almost pulled off an upset in one of the most bizarre moments in CWS history.
Shortly after playing with half of a roster Friday because of COVID-19 protocols, Avent declined to say whether he has encouraged his players to be vaccinated and wouldn’t say whether he has been.
“If you want to talk baseball, we can talk baseball,” Avent said. “If you want to talk politics or stuff like that, you can go talk to my head of sports medicine, Rob Murphy.”
According to d1baseball.com, two unvaccinated NC State players tested positive for COVID-19 this week, prompting NCAA to test the entire roster, including vaccinated players. Four more positive tests came back, all from vaccinated individuals.
OutKick’s Clay Travis said it’s insane any games are being canceled for COVID positive tests. “All of this is nonsensical. None of the players are at any risk at all,” he said.
Vanderbilt will advance to the College World Series final after NCAA rules second Vanderbilt-NC State game a “no-contest” because of COVID issues with NC State. Vandy will face Texas or Mississippi State.