March 24, 2010
NASHVILLE--- Vanderbilt broke open a 2-1 contest with a 10-run third inning, highlighted by a grand slam homer by Brian Harris and a three-run homer by Jason Esposito and rolled to a 18-2 win over Wright State Wednesday night at Hawkins Field.
“These midweek games are very difficult to play,” said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. “I knew they were a good team because we had a tough time with them last year after they beat Georgia. The game got away from them. It doesn’t diminish my thoughts of them as a team. I know how they feel because we felt that way last Tuesday (17-2 loss to WKU). It’s the nature of the game. I’m happy with how we played because we hit the ball very well. We had a lot of hard balls, quality at-bats, and some great defense.”
The win was the 400th of Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin’s career with 294 of them coming over eight seasons in Nashville and 106 at Presbyterian College in five seasons.
Esposito had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBI. Andrew Giobbi and Drew Fann also had three hits, while Brian Harris, Aaron Westlake and Regan Flaherty each had two hits on the night.
Freshman infielder Anthony Gomez’ 14-game hitting streak ended after going 0-for-3 with a walk. Fellow freshman, outfielder Connor Harrell, saw his nine-game hitting streak end after a 0-for-3 night at the plate.
Senior right-hander Drew Hayes (2-0) picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits in four innings with three strikeouts and two walks in the pitch-count regulated outing. Will Clinard threw two innings of two-hit scoreless relief, while Richie Goodenow and Russell Brewer did not allow a run in an inning of work each.
Navery Moore allowed one run on one hit with a walk in his inning of relief in the eighth.
Wright State took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jake Hibberd’s RBI single to center.
The Commodores scored two in the bottom half on Esposito’s two run single to left field to make it 2-1.
VU then exploded for 10 runs in the third to extend the lead to 12-1. Giobbi had a RBI single through the left side and Connor Harrell had a sacrifice fly RBI for the first two runs. Joe Loftus added a RBI single and Harris broke things open with a grand-slam homer inside of the left field foul pole. After Brian Johns walked and Aaron Westlake was hit by a pitch, Esposito closed things out with a line drive homer to left-center, his fifth round-tripper of the season.
“I thought he (Esposito) has been working out hard,” said Corbin. “He got out here today at 1:00 for a 6:00 game and was hitting for about an hour and a half before we even took batting practice. He’s been working at his craft really well with Coach Holliday and you can see him start to come about as an offensive player and he gets better all the time. He drove a ball into the gap in left field and that’s not an ordinary home run. That was a line drive home run. I’m proud of him. His work is really paying off.”
Giobbi added a RBI double in the fifth and the Dores scored four more in the seventh to make it 17-1. Regan Flaherty had a two-run double and Drew Fann added a RBI double to lead the way in the seventh.
The Raiders got their second run of the game in the eighth when Tristan Moore tripled and later scored on a double play.
Jack Armstrong added a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth to close out the game scoring.
The Commodores will host Kentucky in Southeastern Conference action this weekend, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday. VU will then face the Wildcats at 2 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.