April 25, 2009


CBI Live
Westlake hits one of three homers for Vanderbilt


By Jimmy Jones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com


NASHVILLE, 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 to 7-1.
"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."
Vanderbilt 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 out two.
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 unearned runs.
Vanderbilt will send either Cotham or freshman phenom Sonny Gray to the mound on Sunday as it tries to complete a sweep of the series.
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)