April 21, 2010
MURFREESBORO, Tenn.--- Vanderbilt broke open a 4-3 game with a six-run seventh and withstood a furious Middle Tennessee rally to win 11-10 Wednesday night at Reese Smith Field.
The Commodores won their third straight and swept the season series against MTSU to improve to 31-9 on the year. The Blue Raiders dropped to 23-15.
It was Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin's 307th win at the school moving him past Larry Schmittou into second place on the school's all-time win list.
“I thought we hit the ball well, it was 4-3 at one point and we had nothing to show for it,” said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. “We were making hard outs all over the ballpark. I am glad we hit the ball the way we did and I am glad that Grayson Garvin pitched the way he did, that was big.”
VU built a 10-3 lead heading into the bottom half of the seventh before Middle Tennessee rallied back.
The Blue Raiders loaded the bases with no outs against Navery Moore and scored a run on a RBI single by Zach Hudson. Richie Goodenow came on and struck out Blake McDade before giving up a bases clearing double to Bryce Brentz to cut the lead to 10-7.
Tyler Acker’s solo homer in the bottom of the eighth cut the lead to 10-8. The run was the first given up by closer Russell Brewer all season.
VU added what proved to be the deciding run in the ninth when Joe Loftus walked, advanced to third on a fielding error by Miller at second and scored on a squeeze bunt by Anthony Gomez to make it 11-8.
Blake McDade singled with one out in the ninth and Brentz lined a two-run homer over the wall in right to cut the lead to 11-10. Brewer got Tyler Burnett to pop up for the second out but back to back singles by Justin Guidry and Justin Miller put the go ahead run on first base with Justin Acker at the plate. Brewer struck him out to end the game and pick up his sixth save of the year.
“It’s a very difficult task to pitch to this club in this ballpark,” said Corbin. “They are very confident, they hit the ball well and have one of the premium hitters (Brentz) in the country.”
The Blue Raiders took a 3-0 lead in the second, courtesy of a three-run homer by Justin Miller, his 14th of the year. Tyler Burnett and Justin Guidry both singled before Miller’s homer to left off of VU starter Chase Reid.
The Commodores got on the board in the fourth on Aaron Westlake’s solo homer to left-center, his seventh of the year and second in the last three games.
VU rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Joe Loftus led off with a single and scored on a one-out double by Anthony Gomez. Gomez stole third and scored on a RBI single by Brian Harris in an eight-pitch at bat against MTSU starter Hunter Adkins. Jason Esposito reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on a RBI single down the left field line by Curt Casali.
Reid gave up three runs on three hits in two innings with three strikeouts.
Adkins allowed four runs on six hits in 4.2 hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Grayson Garvin (1-0) pitched 3.2 innings of three-hit scoreless relief with three strikeouts and no walks.
The Blue Raiders threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Tyler Burnett singled and Justin Guidry laced a bloop double into a gap down the left field line. Sonny Gray came on in relief of Garvin and struck out Justin Miller to end the threat.
VU added what looked to be a comfortable advantage with a six-run seventh inning to take a 10-3 lead. All the runs came with two-outs in the frame. Aaron Westlake had a RBI single and Andrew Giobbi added a RBI double for the first two runs. Connor Harrell and Joe Loftus had back to back RBI doubles and Drew Fann closed things out with a RBI single.
Anthony Gomez was 2-for-2 with three walks and two RBI from the leadoff spot. Aaron Westlake had his second straight three-hit game, while Connor Harrell and Joe Loftus had two hits to help lead the way.
Brentz finished with two hits and five RBI while Guidry added four hits to lead the club.
Hunter Adkins took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
The Commodores will continue their road trip against Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee this weekend in Knoxville. Both Friday and Saturday’s games are a 6 p.m. CT start, while the Sunday finale is at 1 p.m. CT. The first two games will be televised regionally on CSS and can be watched via the Internet at www.espn3.com <http://www.espn3.com> .