Feb. 20, 2010

click here for complete list of scores

click here for Around the Bases


CBI Live
Tough Hill to climb for Niagara against Vanderbilt

By Jimmy Jones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

(photos by Jimmy Jones)


NASHVILLE, Tenn. ­­ The Vanderbilt Commodores pounded Niagara pitching to back a career-high nine strikeout effort by junior right-hander Taylor Hill (left) in a 16-2 win on Saturday afternoon at sun-splashed unseasonably warm Hawkins Field.

Vanderbilt (2-0) took advantage of 10 walks, six hit batters, two wild pitches, two balks and an error to score 16 runs on 12 hits.

Hill (1-0) yielded only six hits and did not allow a run before departing with two out in the seventh inning to pick up his first win.
"I just had to make adjustments as they (Niagara) came out swinging today," said Hill. "I got into a rhythm towards the end of the first inning and our defense played well behind me."
Brian Harris jump-started the Commodores with a lead-off walk and promptly stole second before coming around for the first run on Andrew Giobbi's RBI double to the left field wall.
Freshman centerfielder Michael Yastrzemski (right) led off the second frame with a single and advanced into scoring position on a ground ball by Connor Harrell. Harris was then hit by a pitch before the duo teamed for a double steal to place runners at second and third.
Commodore third baseman Jason Esposito's shallow fly ball scored Yastrzemski as Purple Eagle right fielder Cam Stykemain's throw was up the line to make the score 2-0.
Niagara made some noise in the fourth inning when first baseman Ryan McCauley was plunked by the first pitch he saw from Hill and moved to second on a single by Jason Cramer with no outs.
The Purple Eagles contributed to their own demise when McCauley (left) was victimized by one of the oldest tricks in the book when Harris, the Vandy shortstop, pulled the hidden ball trick on him for the first out of the inning.
Cramer was then caught stealing second base on a strong throw by Andrew Giobbi to effectively end the threat.
The Commodores upped the score to 6-0 in the sixth on three unearned runs keyed by a Cramer fielding error on a ball off the bat of Curt Casali and the rout was on.
The flood gates opened in the seventh as the home team erupted for 10 runs behind two-run singles by Harris and Casali, and Andrew Harris made his first career hit a memorable one with a ringing double down the left field line to clear bases loaded with Commodores.
 "It's always to nice to score 16 runs but going back to what happened yesterday we had a pitcher (Hill) that had another quality start and got into the seventh inning for us," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin.
Cramer redeemed himself in the eighth inning when he crushed a one-out home run over the left field wall off Vanderbilt reliever Drew Hayes with a runner aboard to avert the shutout to account for the final score.
Harris and Esposito led the Black and Gold offensive effort with two hits apiece.
The Commodores and Purple Eagles will play the final game of the three game series today at 1 p.m. Sophomore right-hander Jack Armstrong will take the hill for VU, while Niagara's starter has yet to be named.