Game One Box Score | Black and Gold Roster | Live Audio & Live Stats
Game 2: Friday at 6 p.m. CT Game 3: Sunday at 1 p.m. CT (at Hawkins Field, Free Admission)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --The Black squad rallied from a 3-0 first inning deficit and took advantage of three Gold squad errors in a 4-3 win in the first game of the Black and Gold series Thursday night at Hawkins Field.
Both teams combined for five errors (Gold had three, Black two) that led to five unearned runs.
"The errors were the name of the game today really," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "I told the guys that the game was similiar to a Southeastern Conference game in that it is often a one or two run game that is dictated by the team that wins the freebie war. And the team that won the freebie war tonight won the game."
The Gold squad tallied three runs in the first off of Black starter Nick Christiani to take a 3-0 lead. Jonathan White led off the game with a walk and moved to third on a well executed hit and run by Alex Hilliard. Hilliard then stole second to have runners in scoring position with no outs. Andrew Giobbi walked to load the bases, but Christiani got Jason Esposito to ground into a double play that scored White. Gabe Ortiz then hit a fly ball to right that Joey Manning dropped allowing Hilliard to score. Second baseman Riley Reynolds followed with a RBI double down the left field line to score Ortiz to make it 3-0.
Gold starter Caleb Cotham cruised through the first three innings and recorded two outs in the fourth before Aaron Westlake reached on a fielding error by Esposito at short. Joe Loftus then belted a two-run homer to left to cut the deficit to 3-2. Cotham finished out the inning and his night, giving up two unearned runs on two hits in four innings with four strikeouts and three walks.
"The game felt like the scrimmages we have had, but it was more intense with the fans and it kept me more focused," said Loftus. "You are always in the game no matter what and the home run kind of got us going. The pitchers today were the best I ever faced and it helps us get better facing these guys."
Brian Harris doubled to left to lead off Black's fifth inning against reliever Grayson Garvin. Harris would score two outs later on Westlake's clutch RBI single to right. Loftus reached on an another error by Esposito at short and Richie Goodenow followed with a RBI double to right to give the Black squad its first lead of the game, 4-3.
Christiani (1-0) gave up three runs, one earned, on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five innings of work before giving way to Mark Lamm in the sixth . Lamm pitched a scoreless inning and was followed by Goodenow who gave up a hit and struck out one in an inning of work. Russell Brewer then filled his familiar role shutting the door with two innings of hitless relief with two strikeouts to pick up the save.
"I wanted to get some older pitchers with experience and it paid off tonight," said Christiani who picked the Black squad. "As for me, I started off a little slow and gave up some ground ball hits. I just stayed with it, kept giving up ground balls for our defense to make plays. Lamm, Goodenow and Brewer all came up big tonight."
Garvin (0-1) allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in two innings of work to take the loss. He struck out five and walked one. Steven Schwartz pitched a perfect seventh and Hayes and scoreless eighth to close out the game for the Gold.
Andrew Giobbi and Riley Reynolds led the Gold with two hits each, while Brian Harris led the Black with two hits of his own.
"We had some mistakes defensively and Coach told us after the game that errors come back to haunt you and it did to us in the middle innings," said Giobbi who served as one of the team captains for the Gold. "I thought all four of our pitchers did well tonight. Offensively I noticed that at the end of the game we were hitting a lot of fly balls and I think we need to go back to hitting hard ground balls like we did in the first inning."
Game two of the series is set for 6 p.m. Friday night. Sophomore righthander Chase Reid will start for the Black, while sophomore lefthander Sean Bierman will take the hill for the Gold. The final game is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. Freshman righthander Sonny Gray will start for the Black team, while sophomore righthander Taylor Hill is slated to pitch for the Gold.
Gold 300 000 000 - 3 7 3
Black 000 220 00x - 4 7 2
Cotham, Garvin (5), Schwartz (7), Hayes (8) and Giobbi, Fann. Christiani, Lamm (6), Goodenow (7), Brewer (8). W-Christiani 1-0, L- Garvin 0-1. Sv-Brewer (1) HR: Black: Loftus (1).