Regional Championship: Vanderbilt vs. Louisville
Monday Night at 5 p.m. CT - View Bracket
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--- Junior southpaw Richie Goodenow, in his first start of the year and just the second start in 68 career outings, held Louisville to only two hits and faced just two over the minimum to lead Vanderbilt to a 7-0 win Sunday afternoon at the NCAA Louisville Regional.
For the second straight year, the Commodores (44-18) will force a second championship game against the Cardinals (50-13) Monday night at 5 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. ET, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Goodenow was outstanding, throwing a career high nine innings that bested his previous high of 4.2 innings set against Oklahoma State in the sixth game of the year. He allowed just two hits, while striking out five and walking two to improve to 3-1 on the year.
"Richie's performance today was as good as what I've seen maybe in 28 years of coaching," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "The importance of it, the fact that he was down in the bullpen for most of the game, the fact that he's never pitched a game that long since he's been at Vanderbilt. He pitched two over the minimum. There's not much more you can say about it."
Vanderbilt held a narrow 1-0 lead for Goodenow heading into the bottom of the fifth before exploding for five two-out runs in the frame to extend the lead to 6-0.
Curt Casali led off the fifth with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Yastrzemski. After a strikeout, Louisville starter Justin Amlung walked Brian Harris and Anthony Gomez to load the bases. The Cards went to the bullpen and brought on southpaw Bob Revesz to face Aaron Westlake in a lefty vs. lefty matchup. Westlake hit a single to right to score a run and then Esposito added a two-run single to make it 4-0. Andrew Giobbi capped off the inning with a two-RBI single up the middle.
"Yeah, it's been a struggle this year obviously with lefties," said Westlake of the matchup with Revesz. "They come in throwing the slider, but working with all the coaches, it's progressing. Now I take on the challenge, I'm more confident and more comfortable every day with it."
The Dores added another run in the eighth on a RBI single by Curt Casali to make it 7-0.
Westlake led the team with three hits, while Esposito, Giobbi and Casali each had two in the win.
Amlung gave up four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings to take the loss to drop to 5-2 on the year.
The Commodores got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Aaron Westlake led off with a single, moved to third on a hit and run single by Jason Esposito and scored on a double play grounder to short by Joe Loftus.
"It's who wants it more," said Esposito when asked about tomorrow night's game. "Both teams are going to come out and swing the bats, both teams are going to pitch and both teams are going to play defense. It's going to come down to heart tomorrow and who wants it more, and the better team's going to win."