June 4, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt scratched across runs to take a lead midway through the contest and then added six in the final two innings, including home runs from Aaron Westlake and Curt Casali, en route to a 10-2 victory over Troy University Saturday on Day Two of the Nashville Regional at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (49-10) will now wait for the winner of Sunday's 2 p.m. contest pitting Troy (43-18) and Belmont University. The winner of that game will face VU at 7 p.m. and must defeat the Commodores twice to advance to next week's Super Regional.
Tony Kemp, Anthony Gomez and Conrad Gregor each collected two RBIs, with two-run singles from Kemp and Gregor and a pair of sacrifice flies by Gomez. Kemp's hit up the middle in the fourth inning gave Vanderbilt the lead for good and he later scored on Gomez's second sac fly.
Gregor's two-run single in the eighth pushed the lead to 6-2 before Westlake belted a three-run homer just to the right of the batter's eye and Casali followed with a solo shot deep to leftcenter.
Grayson Garvin set a single-season record for victories, allowing two runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings to pick up his 13th win of the year. The lefthander allowed two runs in the fourth but worked out of a jam in the sixth, getting a strikeout and a doubleplay before his teammates added to the lead.
Will Clinard came in with two runners on in the seventh and the Commodores holding a 4-2 advantage, striking out Tyler Hannah to end the inning. The righthander posted his third save, walking one and retiring seven of the eight batters he faced.
Jason Esposito and Riley Reynolds paced the VU attack with two hits apiece, but Vanderbilt took advantage of six walks, two hit batters and one costly error by the Trojans.
Troy starter Jimmy Hodgkin (3-7) worked four-plus innings, allowing three runs on one hit. He walked three, hit two and threw first-pitch strikes to just six of the 17 batters he faced.
The Commodores took advantage of some wildness from Hodgkin to plate a run in the third and take an early lead.
Gregor drew a leadoff walk and Reynolds singled with one out before a walk to Kemp loaded the bases. Gomez's lineout to center plated Gregor with the game's first run.
Troy answered with two runs in the fourth after consecutive leadoff singles from Hannah and Adam Bryant. T.J. Rivera's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, setting up Todd McRae's two-out, two-run single to left, a jam-shot in the six-hole, giving the Trojans a slim advantage.
Vanderbilt came back with three runs in the fifth, starting with Hodgkin hitting Gregor and walking Connor Harrell, chasing the lefthander from the game. Reynolds moved the runners with a bunt and Kemp's grounder up the middle bounced off the leg of Rivera and into short centerfield, plating both runs.
Rivera made a wild throw to the plate that nearly went into the dugout, allowing Kemp to reach third on the play. Gomez's second sac fly of the game gave the Commodores a 4-2 edge.
In the Trojan sixth Bryant reached on an error and Rivera singled, but Boone Shear struck out and McRae bounced into a tailor-made 4-6-3 doubleplay. In the seventh Daniel Peterson singled with two outs and Tyson Workman reached on an error by Esposito, but Clinard came on to strikeout Hannah and end the threat.
Vanderbilt expanded to the lead in the eighth when Mike Yastrzemski tripled down the rightfield line and Esposito was intentionally walked and stole second, setting up a lefty-lefty matchup against Gregor. The freshman singled through the rightside, plating both runners for a 6-2 VU advantage.
Reynolds and Gomez both walked in the ninth before Westlake belted a three-run shot, his 14th of the season. Casali followed with his sixth home run for the final runs of the contest.