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Christiani Pitches Vanderbilt
to Monday Showdown
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Vanderbilt forced a
winner-take-all showdown with a 8-4 victory over tournament host
Louisville Sunday night in front of 4,006 fans at Patterson
Christiani (6-6) (left) pitched the Commodores (37-26) into the
championship game with six solid innings of seven-hit baseball.
He finished his stint having allowed just three runs while
striking out four and walking two.
"I am really proud of my pitcher, Christiani", VU coach Tim
Corbin said. “I just really wanted something good to happen to
him tonight. He was the right guy at the right time. I thought
he pitched well and kept us in the ballgame.
"We did a nice job of stopping a tough team in a tough
environment. We are fortunate and it was a good ballgame for
Vanderbilt starters have now pitched 31 of the 35 innings thrown
by the Commodore staff at the Louisville Regional and that just
may prove to be a pivotal point in the outcome of the
“That was really important for us, to almost get two complete
games," Corbin said.
"Sonny could have thrown a complete game, but we wanted to give
some others some work. It was nice to have someone fresh behind
Nick in Drew, and Chase did a nice job of closing it out."
Louisville designated hitter Phil Wunderlich's RBI single to
right in the first inning ended Vanderbilt's string of 19
consecutive scoreless innings pitched at the Louisville
Regional. The Commodores had posted consecutive shutouts against
Indiana and Middle Tennessee.
The streak started in the ninth inning of Vanderbilt's 5-4 loss
to Middle Tennessee on Friday.
The Cardinals had two potential rallies snuffed out by double
plays just as they appeared to be gaining some momentum in the
"The double plays were huge momentum swings for us," VU
shortstop Brian Harris said. “With a guy on first, there was a
line-drive double play, and we had one in the sixth inning. It
pumps you back up, and it pumps the whole team back up."
"It was a frustrating night on our end," Louisville coach Dan
McDonnell said. "I thought we got outplayed in every aspect of
the game; pitching, hitting, and defense.
"You have to give the credit to their hitters. It was a bad game
on our part. You have to tip your hat to them. They played well
and we didn't. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to get
ready to play a great game tomorrow night."
The championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.
(photo by Jimmy Jones)