May 8, 2010

click here for complete list of scores

click here for Around the Bases

CBI Live
Hill, Commodores Tame Tigers

By Jimmy Jones

Special to

(photos by Jimmy Jones)


BATON ROUGE, La. ­­- Vanderbilt right-hander Taylor Hill (left) continues to stake his claim as one of the better starting pitchers in the SEC with a complete game seven-hitter to shut down the LSU offense less than 24 hours after it pounded out 16 runs and 19 hits in the series opener on Friday night.

The Commodores (11-10, 34-14) evened the series with the 6-2 victory as they hammered out 13 hits in the contest.

Hill (5-3) carried a shutout into the final frame and was only one out away from posting the first complete game shutout of the season for Vanderbilt before Wet Delatte's two-run single to drive in Austin Nola and Leon Landry spoiled the chance.

"I definitely wanted to get the shutout, the six runs we scored allowed me to stay in the game," Hill said. “For most of the game I tried to hit my spots and mix in off-speed pitches, but in the ninth I was just throwing fastballs to try and get them out."

The junior finished by allowing two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and just one walk.

Aaron Westlake jumpstarted the Black and Gold offense with a RBI single in the first inning and Jason Esposito (right) manufactured a run with his legs by stealing third and then scoring when Tiger third baseman Grant Dozar couldn't handle the throw from catcher Micah Gibbs to make the score 2-0.

Dozar's second error of the game in the third allowed Joe Loftus to score to bump the advantage to 3-0 and their luck didn't get any better in the fifth inning as they committed two more defensive miscues to allow two unearned runs to stretch the cushion to 5-0.

“We got ourselves in an early hole, and it's tough to come back against a pitcher like that with the wind blowing in," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri (left) said. "You have to give credit to (Hill); he threw a great game and we really never generated anything against him."

Westlake picked up his second RBI of the night in the inning and senior Andrew Giobbi plated the second run on a fielder's choice grounder.

VU added another run in the ninth on the strength of three consecutive two-out singles by Westlake, Curt Casali and Giobbi (RBI).

"Obviously the way we bounced back tonight was big," Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. "We got a good pitching performance from Taylor, liked the way he stopped them, particularly after last night. I thought it was good to score some runs early in the game to build momentum. Happy to win the game for sure."

Jason Esposito led the team with three hits, three stolen bases and two runs. He also contributed several impressive plays defensively with seven assists from his third base position.

Westlake matched his teammate with three hits as well.

Jordan Rittiner (4-3) (right) pitched into some tough luck as he allowed five runs, just one earned, on eight hits in 6.1 innings with one walk and six strikeouts to be saddled with the loss.

LSU dropped to 34-14 and 12-11 in league play.

Nola extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a base hit in the eighth, and Gibbs continues to hit at a torrid pace with two hits to lead the LSU offense.

Vanderbilt and the Tigers play the final game of the three-game set Sunday at 1 p.m. CDT. Sophomore right-hander Jack Armstrong (5-1, 3.83 ERA) will take the mound for the Commodores, while LSU will hand the ball to junior right-hander Austin Ross (3-4, 5.63 ERA).