April 25, 2009
Westlake hits one of
three homers for Vanderbilt
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Tenn. - California native Aaron Westlake (right) homered for the
second day in a row and the Vanderbilt Commodores continue to
flex their muscles with three home runs in the first three
innings to defeat Mississippi State 10-4 on an ideal day for
baseball at Hawkins Field.
Brian Harris put the Commodores (9-10 SEC, 26-17) on the board
in the first inning when he hit a screaming liner over the left
field wall on the second pitch he saw for his fifth home run of
the year and Westlake followed two batters later with an
impressive three-run shot that cleared the right field bleachers
for a 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs got on the board on a solo shot to left by
designated hitter Ryan Duffy in the second but the Commodores
Curt Casali countered with a three-run blast to stretch the lead
"We have talked about getting more run production lately and I
think today was a combination of that and the wind blowing out,"
said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "When you have a day
where the wind is blowing out and you get it up there it will
carry, but on the other hand a couple of those today were no
doubters. Westlake's cleared the outfield stands in right field
so I don't think it was that wind-aided."
right-hander Drew Hayes (4-2) (right), pressed into service a
day early due to a minor injury to Saturday starter Caleb Cotham,
held the Bulldogs (6-14, 21-23) to just one run on three hits
through five innings. He departed with the score 7-2 in the
sixth after recording the first two outs, but had allowed a
walk, and hits to Russ Sneed and catcher Scott DeLoach.
Sean Bierman came on in relief and induced a groundball off the
bat of Duffy to end the threat.
"Drew's performance came a day early because he wasn't supposed
to pitch until tomorrow, but I think today was a pretty good
role for him," said Corbin. "I was a little concerned after
inning two and three but I thought after that he settled down
and started to minimize his pitch count."
Bierman earned his first save as a Commodore with 3.1 innings of
solid work. He allowed three hits and two runs while striking
Bulldog starter Nick Routt (4-3) absorbed the loss. He threw
seven complete and was touched up for 10 hits and nine runs. He
was the victim of two defensive errors that allowed four
Vanderbilt will send either Cotham or freshman phenom Sonny Gray
to the mound on Sunday as it tries to complete a sweep of the
Tyler Whitney (2-3) takes the bump for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State head coach John Cohen returns to lead his squad
after a one-game suspension for being ejected Friday night. It
was his second ejection of the season.
(photo courtesy of Jimmy Jones)