Gray pitches Vanderbilt
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
ATHENS Georgia--Freshman Sonny Gray
(left) gave the
Vanderbilt Commodores a much-needed shot in the arm in the first
SEC start of his career Friday night in a 10-2 victory at Foley
Field with six complete innings and allowing only three hits
while walking four and striking out a career-high seven hitters.
The Bulldogs (14-11 SEC, 33-16) scored one earned run against
the hard-throwing right-hander.
The Commodores (11-13, 30-20) put up a four-spot in the first
inning when Brian Harris led off with a double down the left
field line, Steven Liddle walked and Curt Casali followed with
an RBI fielder's choice. Aaron Westlake continued to swing the
bat at a torrid pace with a searing line drive over the right
field wall to put the Commodores up 3-0.
Andrew Giobbi homered moments later for Vanderbilt to give them
back-to-back homer uns for the first time since April 1 of this
year to put his team up 4-0 and that would be all Gray would
Gray (4-1) pitched his way into trouble in the second inning by
hitting Bryce Massanari and walking Joey Lewis to lead off the
frame but pitched his way out by striking out Lyle Allen and
Peter Verdin before inducing a ground ball off the bat of Levi
Hyams to end the Bulldog threat.
Vanderbilt scored two in the third on hits by Westlake
(right) and Joe
Esposito and tacked on runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh on
a total of 11 hits.
Georgia's only runs came in the third and the ninth but it
wasn't because they lacked opportunities to score as evidenced
by the 13 base runners they left on base in the contest.
Trevor Holder picked up the loss with six innings of work. He
allowed nine hits and eight earned runs. He struck out two and
Westlake finished the game with three hits in four trips to
boost his average to .388 on the season. The red-shirt freshman
had two home runs among his hits to account for three RBI. It
was the first two-homer game by a Commodore since Pedro Alvarez
hit two against Memphis in May of last year.
Esposito and Joe Loftus joined the multi-hit parade for the
Black and Gold with two knocks each.
Georgia totaled only four hits in the game, one of those was by
first baseman Rich Poythress (left), the College Baseball Insider's
co-player of the week in March who is second in the country in
RBI and the Southeastern Conference batting average leader. His
season average now stands at .403.
The series continues Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Vanderbilt will send
Mike Minor (4-4, 3.93) to the mound in a rare middle-game start.
The Bulldogs counter with Alex McRee (4-1, 3.55).
(photos courtesy of Jimmy Jones)