Brandon Waddell limited Vanderbilt to five hits in his first nine-inning complete game, Virginia knocked out first-round draft pick Tyler Beede in the seventh, and the Cavaliers evened the College World Series finals with a 7-2 victory Tuesday night.
Each team will be playing for its first national title in baseball in the winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night.
"It's awesome," Waddell said. "Not even from the standpoint of it gets the job done, but just for these guys here with me, my teammates. You know, we have been through so much through the fall and spring and all the hard work that's been put in. It's really cool to com out here and execute for those guys."
Virginia rallied down seven runs Monday and had a chance to steal game one against Vanderbilt in the College World Series before eventually falling 9-8.
Chris Harvey grounded to Brandon Waddell but John Norwood came home and scored, leaving Vanderbilt with a 1-0 lead.
The Wahoos tied it up on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Branden Cogswell.
But the Commodores jumped back on top in the fourth. As John Norwood drove Waddell's pitch into left center, he came in with a double to plate a Vanderbilt run.
Virginia got it rolling in the sixth. Downes hit a shot to right center for a triple, bringing Kenny Towns home to give U.Va. a 4-2 lead.
Towns in the 7th broke it open for the Cavaliers with a two-run single as McCarthy and Papi came home sending UVA to a 6-2 lead.
Virginia (53-15) forced the third game after Vanderbilt (50-21) rode a nine-run third inning to a 9-8 victory in the opener.
Waddell (10-3), who pitched a solid seven innings with no decision against TCU a week ago, was even better against the Commodores. He didn't allow a hit in the fifth through eighth innings and retired 12 in a row before he issued a walk with two outs in the ninth.
"The fact that tonight Waddell threw nine innings and we didn't have to touch anybody else was huge and we can go with everything we've got tomorrow," Virginia coach Brian O'Connor said.
Waddell's first official complete game came in a six-inning, rain-shortened game against Monmouth in March.
"Waddell has been throwing like that all year, and when he comes out and throws strikes, it's been the same outcome all year for that kid," UVA left fielder Derek Fisher said. "We can't ask for anything better in a win-or-go-home situation for him to go out and fill up the zone."