April 11, 2010
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Around the Bases
Tanner gets 1,000th win
as South Carolina edges Vandy
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
(photos by Jimmy Jones)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jay Brown pitched South
Carolina to a 2-0 win over Vanderbilt with 6.1 innings of
shutout baseball in front of 2,328 fans at Hawkins Field on an
ideal Spring afternoon to clinch the key SEC series for his ball
hitter Whit Merrifield (right) provided all the offense the
Gamecocks would need when he hit the first pitch of the game
over the scoreboard in left field off of Commodore starter
Taylor Hill for a 1-0 advantage.
Merrifield now owns a 19-game hitting streak and has hit safely
in an incredible 31 of 32 games for the year.
VU looked to answer quickly when Brian Harris led off the bottom
half with a base hit but he was quickly erased by a double play.
It would be the last base runner that the hosts would have until
the seventh inning as Brown cruised through the lineup.
"They threw the ball outside when they had to," Vanderbilt head
coach Tim Corbin said. "They threw the ball inside when they had
to. They were able to jam us. They were able to throw a breaking
ball that, for whatever reason, we offered at."
(left) departed with one out in the sixth after Harris led off
with a hit, and was bunted to second by Bryan Johns. The
Gamecocks went to the pen for left-hander Michael Roth to face
Westlake hit a sharp liner that appeared destined for
centerfield but shortstop Bobby Haney made a nice catch
glove-side and then beat the diving Harris back to second base
for an unconventional but back-breaking double play to end the
South Carolina closer Matt Price set the Commodores down in
order in the eighth and ninth for his fourth save of the
was coach Ray Tanner's 1,000th career victory and it also marked
the first time in school history that the Gamecocks have won
four consecutive series in conference play to open a season
since joining the SEC in 1992.
"I'm grateful to be where I am," Tanner (right) said. "I think I
have one of the better jobs in the country and I'm just a part
of a team.
"Like I said before, I've never made any pitches, I've never
gotten any hits, I've never made any plays. I'm just proud to be
part of this program.
"Jay Brown, I'll always remember getting 1,000 when he pitched
and I'm honored that he was the guy that went out there. He
figured in with Roth and Price in a tough game today."
(3-3) (left) picked up another tough-luck loss for the VU staff
with 7.2 innings, the longest outing of his career. He gave up
just one run and two hits while striking out three and walked
"I'm very proud of Taylor in how he pitched," Corbin said. "He
pitched very well and gave us every opportunity to win."
The Gamecocks improved to 25-7 overall and 9-3 in Southeastern
Conference play, while the Commodores fell to 26-8 overall and
6-6 in league action.
The shutout was the first for Vanderbilt at home in SEC play
since LSU won 3-0 on May 1, 2005.
"I am so proud of our team," Tanner said. "We played hard and
pitched great today. We didn't dominate. We were able to win
both games that were close and on the road against a great club,
one of the better hitting and pitching teams in the country. I
am really proud of what we were able to accomplish."