Nov. 25, 2009
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View Final Box Score
TOKYO- For the second time in three days, the Vanderbilt offense rallied from behind in the ninth inning. Down to the their final strike and trailing 3-0 to Waseda, sophomore infielder Jason Esposito drilled a bases loaded triple to deep center field to tie the game at 3-3.
Aaron Westlake was hit by a pitch to start off the inning and Andrew Giobbi followed with a hard hit single to left field. Junior Curt Casali then drew a walk to load the bases. Waseda ace Yuki Saito struck out Mike Yastrzemski to bring the Commodores within one out of defeat. However, Esposito wasn't willing to go down easy. After fouling a Saito fastball straight back, he turned on a 2-2 pitch and sent it sailing over the head of the Waseda center fielder to clear the bases.
Junior pitcher Russell Brewer struck out Waseda leadoff hitter Matsunaga to preserve the tie.
Sophomore Jack Armstrong was given the start for Vanderbilt's fourth and final game in Japan. Armstrong challenged hitters with a heavy fastball and an effective off speed mix. Armstrong lasted five innings and surrendered four hits and one earned run.
Waseda countered with pitchers Fukui, Oishi and Saito. According to a major league scout in attendance with extensive knowledge of Japanese Baseball, Waseda's three arms are considered to be locks to be selected in the first round of the Nippon Professional Baseball League draft in November 2011. All three pitchers played for the Japanese national team this past summer.
Aaron Westlake, Andrew Giobbi, and Jason Esposito each had two hits on the afternoon.
Vanderbilt finished the exhibition games part of the trip with a 1-1-2 record.
The team will remain in Japan and Hong Kong till the end of the week sightseeing, before returning home in time for the resumption of classes on Monday.
Note from Alex Levitt, baseball student assistant who wrote the recaps:
Thanks to everyone who followed the baseball team's efforts in Japan and we look forward to seeing you out at Hawkins Field this season. Vanderbilt will begin regular season play on February 19 vs. Niagara at Hawkins Field. Our annual banquet will be held on February 13 at 7 p.m. in the Student Life Center. Please click here to reserve your tickets.
Coach Corbin's Wednesday Quotes
"After the doubleheader on Tuesday, Maggie and I took some of the players to see the Owl City concert - they were playing at a club in Shibuya. We had backstage passes (sorry about it) which made it nicer because the show was sold out. We were able to meet some of the band - the lead singer made the announcement to the crowd that he had been sick and was "yacking" all day - I don't think they understood a word he said, but I did - no shaking hands with that dude - don't think I want the swine while in Japan.
"Today was a battle but gratifying nonetheless. Faced three first round pitchers in one game. Scoring off of them was very difficult and we didn't have many opportunities until the ninth. They closed their ace, a kid named Saito (Japanese college legend - national team) - down three runs, we were able to load the bases with two outs. Espo came up big - took a two-strike, two-out 95 mph FB over the CF's head and scored all three runs - it was the only area in the ballpark that he could have hit the ball and scored all three runners. Espo deserves some success - he has worked his butt off in the cages with Coach Holly, so I was happy for him.
"Jack's outing was solid - this group was more physical than the other teams we played - the mistakes he made, were hit harder by the Waseda players. Corey Williams was solid in relief again...it has been fun to watch Corey and Will Clinard progress the way they have over the fall - they have a chance to help us as redshirt freshmen. Brew finished the game once again - he is consistent. This finishes the baseball portion of our trip - I will summarize it later, but this has been an unbelievable baseball experience - I just wanted the kids to soak up everything that they could - you can learn so much from watching these Japanese kids play. I'm really sorry that the games are over this quick."