May 9, 2009


CBI Live
Minor gives major effort for Vanderbilt at Georgia


By Jimmy Jones

Special to 

ATHENS Georgia--Mike Minor (left) struck out 12 and limited the potent Georgia Bulldogs offense to just five hits in nine innings in a dominant performance in a 9-2 victory Saturday to spoil Senior Day for a large and festive crowd at Foley Field and in the process ensured a series win for the Vanderbilt Commodores (12-13 SEC, 31-20).
For the second day in a row the Commodore offense posted four runs before the Bulldogs (14-12, 33-17) could get to the plate with Brian Harris as their catalyst. Harris worked his way on with a walk and was moved over on a perfectly placed bunt by Riley Reynolds that he beat out for a hit.
Steven Liddle's ground ball moved both runners and first baseman Curt Casali knocked in Harris with a single to left.
Aaron Westlake hit a blistering drive down the third base line that Bulldog infielder Colby May dove and got a glove on but couldn't control for the second run of the inning, the 43rd RBI of the year for the Redding, California native.
A wild pitch by Georgia starter Alex McRee (right) advanced the runners before Joe Esposito plated both Casali and Westlake to make the score 4-0.
Harris hit a solo home run, his seventh of the season, to lead off the second and Esposito and Andrew Giobbi each hit a sacrifice fly to bump the score to 7-0 in the third.
Minor (5-4) meanwhile, was mowing down the Bulldogs and did not allow a hit until Colby May hit solid line drive into left field to lead off the Bulldog fourth. Joey Lewis broke up the shutout with a double into the corner to score May.
The Bulldogs offensive frustration continued through the seventh inning and through the first hitter of the eighth before Levi Hyams, a freshman, singled into right field.
Bulldog coach David Perno went to the bench for pinch hitter Zach Cone and the freshman made him look good with a ringing triple to score Hyams to make the score 7-2.
Minor ended the threat by striking out Matt Cerione and May to strand the runner and the Bulldogs would not mount another rally in the game.
The Commodores scored two in the ninth to account for the final score.
Georgia's McRee (4-2) was saddled with the loss on eight hits and seven earned runs in six innings of work. He struck out five and issued two free passes.
Westlake hiked his average to .394 with another three hit effort for the Commodores. Casali also contributed three hits and Harris and Reynolds added two apiece to the hit parade.
Junior Drew Hayes (4-2, 4.22 ERA) will take the hill for Vanderbilt to try and complete the sweep.
Right-hander Justin Grimm (2-3, 4.42) will try and stop a nine game losing streak for the Bulldogs.

(photos courtesy of Jimmy Jones)