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Around the Bases
Tough Hill to climb for
Niagara against Vanderbilt
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
(photos by Jimmy Jones)
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
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.
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.
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
"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.