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Friday Regional Scores
Meinhart is main man for MTSU
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Ky. – The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders came out of the gate
swinging with a four-run first inning on the strength of a grand
slam home run by Stuart Meinhart (right) and held on for a 5-4
win over Mike Minor and the Vanderbilt Commodores in the opening
round of the NCAA Louisville Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Blake McDade got the Raiders going with a one-out single and was
moved over on a base hit by the Sun Belt Conference Player of
the Year Bryce Brent. Rawley Bishop worked his way on with a
walk to set up Meinhart's big fly to right to make the score
VU pecked away at the lead with two runs in the top of the
fourth when Curt Casali was hit by a pitch and Aaron Westlake,
the SEC regular season batting champion, followed with a double
down the right field line. Catcher Andrew Giobbi scored Casali
with a ground ball out and Jason Esposito knocked in the second
run of the game for the Commodores (34-26) with an RBI single on
the first pitch he saw.
Middle Tennessee (44-16) got a run back in the seventh on a
one-handed fly ball that cleared the fence in left field just
inside the foul pole by Taylor Dennis; his fourth of the season,
to stretch the score back out to 5-2.
"When Taylor Dennis hits a home run you aren't supposed to get
beat," MTSU coach Steve Peterson said. "There is something in
the air when he gets one out. He is not hitting ninth for
The Commodores came right back with two runs in the eighth on a
Westlake leadoff single for his 25th multi-hit game of the
season, and he was moved to third on a Giobbi double. Esposito
recorded his second RBI of the game with a productive out. VU
head coach Tim Corbin called on Jordon Wormsley to pinch hit for
Joe Loftus and he delivered a ground ball RBI to pull to with in
MTSU reliever Coty Woods gave up a leadoff double to Jonathan
White, to extend his hitting streak to nine games to lead off
the Vanderbilt ninth and walked Giobbi and Casali, but worked
his way out of a bases-loaded situation by getting Jason
Esposito to ground out to deep third base to end the game.
"Baseball is a game of inches and we just came up a little short
in this game," White said. "We had our opportunities and hit
some balls hard but we just didn't get it done today.
"That's baseball. It can be a humbling game. We just have to
come out and play better ball tomorrow."
starter Kenneth Roberts (11-1) was masterful in seven complete
innings of work. He allowed just six hits and three earned runs.
Woods gave up two hits in two innings and allowed one earned run
to pick up the save.
Minor (6-5) (right), a pre-season All-American pick by the
CollegeBaseballInsider.com, allowed four hits in the first inning
and then just six the rest of the way. He tossed his third
complete game in his last four starts in the loss.
Vanderbilt plays the loser of the Indiana-Louisville game at 3
p.m. on Saturday.
MTSU takes on the winner at 7 p.m.