Rick Vanderhook’s strategy was already in motion as he jittered in the dugout, unable to stand still. His decision would either prolong Fullerton’s season, or end it.
In the seventh inning of a College World Series elimination game Monday, Fullerton led Florida State by one run. There were runners on second and third and no outs. Reliever Blake Workman jogged in. The Seminoles’ No. 3 hitter, Jackson Lueck, waited. He was Florida State’s best hitter, batting .320 with nine home runs.
So Vanderhook ordered Workman to walk him.
Intentionally loading the bases was aggressive: It put trust on Workman — and tremendous pressure. And so as the count ran full on the subsequent...