June 3, 2007
POST-GAME COVERAGE ON VUCOMMODORES.COM
Visit NCAA Tournament Central
Matthews' Column: Bullpen to the Rescue
Williamson's Column: Hawkins Field Fever
View Neil Brake's Photo Gallery
Video: VU Post-Game Press
Audio: Michigan Post-Game Press
Box | 2007 Stats | Notes | Quotes
Nashville, Tenn.--- No. 1 Vanderbilt used a seven-run second inning to overcome No.2-seed Michigan 10-7 and force a final game in the Nashville Regional. Commodore pitcher Brett Jacobson (6-3) pitched five innings of two-hit relief to shut down the Wolverines and earn the win for Vanderbilt.
"It was a good day," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "We came out, won the first one, and applied some pressure there in that big seven-run inning, which probably needed to be done because that's a very good offensive team. I thought the inning that changed the complexion of the game was the seventh when Brett shut them down and I thought, `okay, we're going to take it from here.'"
Michigan and Vanderbilt will face off for the third time this weekend on Monday at 6 p.m. CDT, where the winner will advance to a Super Regional next weekend.
"The energy you draw from the crowd is the most obvious thing and the comfort level of playing at home and getting back on the field tomorrow and taking BP," Corbin said. "We're a team that thrives on playing in our own ballpark. This was a dream come true to bring this Regional here."
After Pedro Alvarez walked to begin the second inning, Ryan Flaherty singled to extend his hitting streak to a school-record 34 games. Matt Meingasner, Parker Hanks, and Shea Robin all followed with RBI singles, and Brad French plated two with his single to knock out Michigan starter Andrew Hess (7-2). David Macias added a two RBI single and later came home to round out the scoring at seven and give the Commodores another big inning on Saturday.
"Today was a really important for us," French said. "Our backs were against the wall and we knew we had to survive another day. It's been shut down a little bit the past couple of days so it was good for our offense to come out today and score some runs for the pitchers."
Michigan got back two in the bottom of the inning but Vanderbilt returned the favor in the top of the fifth courtesy of a two-run homer by Brad French, his first round-tripper since March 3rd. In the bottom of the frame, Jason Christian had a bases-clearing double and Nick Christiani left the game with the Dores leading 9-5. Christiani finished his day pitching four-plus innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
Jacobson closed out the game for Vandy, giving up only two hits and two walks in five innings while striking out three. Michigan scored two unearned runs in the ninth inning, but Jacobson struck out Nate Recknagel with a runner on to end the contest. Vanderbilt had earlier added a run in the eighth as Dominic de la Osa scored on a suicide-squeeze by pinch hitter Ryan Davis.
"We didn't get home till 1:30 in the morning (last night) and I couldn't fall asleep," Jacobson said. "When you wake up in the morning you can either make a choice to be angry and think about yesterday or wipe the slate clean and say, `Okay. I'm gonna play loose. I'm gonna play like we've got nothing to lose.' I chose to just kind of be loose and say, you know, I'm ready to go. I'm gonna pitch like I know I can to get these guys out. I know our team's gonna hit today."
French led the Commodores with four RBI and two runs, Macias had two RBI and a run, and Meingasner had two runs with his RBI. Christian had four RBI on three hits and Eric Rose and Derek VanBuskirk each scored two runs in the losing effort.