Vanderbilt (51-19) will have a chance to wrap up its second straight national title in the second game of the best-of-three series at 7 p.m. on Tuesday on ESPN.
In a national championship rematch of last year, Fulmer, the eighth overall pick by the Chicago White Sox, fooled the Cavaliers (42-24) all night. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed just two hits and struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings.
He surrendered only one hit -- an infield single -- through the first seven innings. He retired 10 straight before giving up a double and a walk in the bottom of the eighth with two outs. He was pulled after 119 pitches -- 72 for strikes -- and walked off to a standing ovation from the Vanderbilt faithful. Roommate Ben Bowden replaced him and induced a fly ball to end the inning.
"I thought he just hit the strike zone all night. The times that he didn't, a couple of breaking balls got away from him, but even with first and second, one out, that's where you really see his compete factor. He'll bend but he's not going to break. He did such a nice job of pitching out of those innings and then as the game progresses with him, he just gets stronger." Tim Corbin on Carson Fulmer.
After just getting three hits off Virginia righty Connor Jones through the first five innings, the Commodores scratched across five runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
With two outs in the sixth, Zander Wiel legged out an infield single and Bryan Reynolds followed with a walk. That brought up Toffey and the Freshman All-American slapped the first pitch from right-hander Connor Jones over the head of left fielder Kevin Doherty. Wiel scored easily and Reynolds motored all the way around from first for a 2-0 lead.
Ro Coleman, Dansby Swanson and Reynolds each drove in runs in the seventh to give Fulmer and the bullpen a needed cushion. Freshman All-American Kyle Wright allowed one run in the ninth but wiggled out of a jam with two strikeouts and a flyout as Vanderbilt won its ninth straight.