Feb. 21, 2007
Vanderbilt Head Baseball Coach Tim Corbin says it didn't take a whole lot of thought to decide who would hit in the all-important cleanup spot in the Vanderbilt lineup this year. Even with the fourth spot taking on added significance for the Commodores as the place in the order that will serve as protection for sophomore All-American Pedro Alvarez, Corbin said the decision as to who should fill it was obvious: sophomore shortstop Ryan Flaherty.
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The Commodores played in front of a February record crowd of 1,925 and improved to 7-0 with the win.
After both teams threatened but did not score in the first inning, Vanderbilt erupted for all 16 runs in the next six innings to put the game out of reach.
"Offensively, we hit the ball pretty well and took advantage of some walks," VU head coach Tim Corbin said. "Any time you can score in consecutive innings like that, you stop any momentum changes that happen for the other team."
Freshman Mike Minor made his first career start on the hill for Vanderbilt and held the Bisons scoreless through four innings before running out of steam in the fifth. He struck out eight through 4.1 innings and gave up three runs on three hits with three walks.
Tyler Rhoden (2-0) came on in relief and gave up two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings to pick up the win.
The Commodores opened the scoring in the second when first baseman Justin Sanders fielding error on a grounder by Pedro Alvarez allowed three unearned runs to score. David Macias had a RBI single in the third to make it 4-0.
Ryan Flaherty had a nice afternoon recording three hits, including a leadoff homer in the fourth to ignite a four run inning. Dominic de la Osa added a two-run homer to left and Macias added a sacrifice fly to make it 8-0.
"At 70 degrees, the bats came out," Vanderbilt shortstop Ryan Flaherty said talking about the pleasant day. "It's not fun hitting in 30-degree weather and snow. It felt like a baseball game today."
Lipscomb made a game of it in the fifth scoring five runs in the frame to make it 8-5. Kevin Gavigan had a two-run double and Caleb Joseph a two-run single to help lead the rally.
VU answered back with two runs in the bottom half, the first coming on a leadoff homer by Pedro Alvarez. The laser shot to center was his fourth round-tripper of the season. Brad French added a sac fly RBI to make it 10-5.
The Commodores plated three more runs in both the sixth and the seventh, while the Bisons managed two runs in the seventh to finish out the game scoring. Matt Meingasner had a two run single in the sixth, while Parker Hanks and Flaherty both had RBI doubles in the seventh to help lead the way.
Lipscomb starter John King was charged with the loss to fall to 0-1. He gave up six runs, three earned, on seven hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Casey Weathers closed out the game by striking out the side in the ninth.
The Commodores will be back in action this weekend as they host Pittsburgh, Ball State and Boston College in the Music City Classic. All single-game tickets available through the month of February can be purchased for only $1. Fans can call (615) 322-GOLD for more info.