March 17, 2010
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.--- Vanderbilt responded to a 17-2 defeat to WKU in a big way, scoring nine runs in the first inning and 14 runs through the first three innings en route to a 17-6 win over the Hilltoppers Wednesday afternoon at Nick Denes Field.
The Commodores improved to 15-2 overall and split the season series with WKU (13-5).
A day after scoring just two runs and recording nine hits, VU exploded for nine runs on nine hits in the first inning. The Dores batted around in the frame, pounding WKU starter Taylor Haydel throughout the lineup.
Brian Harris led off the game with a walk, Bryan Johns singled and Aaron Westlake doubled down the right-field line to plate Harris with the first run. Andrew Giobbi’s sacrifice fly brought in a run as did Jason Esposito’s single to left-center. Riley Reynolds walked and both he and Esposito stole a base and later scored on Joe Loftus’ single to left. Anthony Gomez, Harris and Johns added singles and Westlake came through with a two-run triple to make it 9-0.
“I was hoping the kids would respond this way,” said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin after his team lost 17-2 last night to the Hilltoppers. “You score 14 runs in the first three innings, I guess there was an attitude adjustment that was made. We talked about it this morning before we got on the bus to come over here, saying that was yesterday and today is a new day and in baseball you have the ability to do that.”
Jason Esposito’s solo homer in the second pushed the lead to 10-0. It was his fourth homer of the season, tying him with Aaron Westlake for the team lead.
WKU got on the board in the bottom of the second, scoring on a bases loaded walk to Matt Borgschulte. Matt Payton added an RBI single to make it 10-2.
VU responded with a four-run third as Andrew Giobbi recorded a RBI single, Esposito a RBI double and ground-out RBIs by Reynolds and Connor Harrell.
Corey Williams (1-0) threw two innings of one-hit scoreless relief with a walk and a strikeout to pick up his first collegiate win.
WKU scored a run in the fifth on a throwing error and VU scored two in the sixth on a sacrifice fly RBI by Anthony Gomez and an infield RBI single by Brian Harris.
The Hilltoppers used an RBI single by Jared Andreoli and a two-run homer by Kes Carter to make it 16-6.
Aaron Westlake’s RBI double in the ninth made it 17-6. In all the Commodores had 18 hits with Johns, Westlake and Esposito leading the way with three hits each.
The Commodores will open Southeastern Conference play this weekend on the road against No. 21 Alabama. The Dores and Crimson Tide will open the series on Friday at 6:35 p.m. and will continue on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. and Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The latter two contests will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net and CSS respectively.