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Walker Buehler continues run of strong Dodgers pitching in College World Series

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Walker Buehler was drafted 24th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Walker Buehler was drafted 24th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers 2015 first-round draft pick Walker Buehler pitched scoreless baseball into the seventh inning on Friday night in Vanderbilt's 7-1 win over TCU in Omaha, advancing to the College World Series finals.

Buehler, picked by the Dodgers at No. 24 overall, struck out eight in his 6⅔ innings and allowed only four hits and a walk, throwing 89 pitches, 60 for strikes. He left with runners at the corners and two out in the seventh, and both were stranded.

Vanderbilt (3-0) on Monday will play the winner of Saturday's elimination game between Virginia and Florida. The Commodores are the defending College World Series champions.

Buehler's outing continued a run of strong pitching by Dodgers draft picks in Omaha. The run allowed by Buehler was the first by Dodgers draftees in the College World Series, in their 19th inning.

His teammate, left-hander Philip Pfeifer, drafted in the third round with the No. 101 overall pick, pitched seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in a 1-0 win over TCU on Tuesday.

Virginia closer Jeff Sborz, picked by the Dodgers in the Competitive Balance Round B, pick No. 74 overall, has pitched in two games for Virginia, pitching three scoreless innings last Saturday in a win over Arkansas, then retiring all six batters he faced in a two-inning save on Monday against Florida.

The trio of pitchers has combined for 20 strikeouts in 18⅔ innings so far in Omaha, allowing only one run.

Virginia plays Florida on Saturday night at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.

The finals are a best-of-three series, with games Monday, Tuesday and, if necessary, Wednesday. So it's likely the only way Buehler pitches again in Omaha if there is a necessary third game. Look for Pfeifer to probably start Tuesday for Vandy, with No. 8 overall pick Carson Fulmer starting Game 1 on Monday.