June 10, 2011
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Super Regional Results, Schedules & Capsules
Commodores Crush Beavers
Yastrzemski, Esposito Homer in Support of Gray
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
(photos by Jimmy Jones)
Tenn. - The
word all week out of the Oregon State camp was that the pressure
would be square on the shoulders of third-ranked Vanderbilt.
It took the hosts
about 20 minutes to reverse that theory.
The Commodores scored
four times in the first inning and rolled to an 11-1 win over
the Beavers Friday night at Hawkins Field to take a 1-0 Super
Regional lead. With one more one, Vanderbilt will advance to the
College World Series for the first time.
Commodores ace Sonny Gray set the Beavers down on three straight
ground balls to open the game and then got all the run support
he would need in the bottom of the inning thanks in part to
three two-out walks by Sam Gaviglio. Mike Yastrzemski (right),
Jason Esposito and Connor Harrell (two-run) followed with
singles to build a 4-0 lead and grab the early momentum.
“Any time you are playing in a Super Regional, you want to try
and get some momentum going, and we did tonight,” Vanderbilt
coach Tim Corbin said. “Sonny did very well carrying us into the
seventh inning and then Corey [Williams] finished it out. We
played some very good ground-ball defense early in the game. We
turned a big double play there; the 1-6-3 was important after
the error. The focus of the offense was a lot of scoring with
two outs. That first inning was big with us getting out one-two
then getting six men on base. It was a big moment for us and put
four up in that inning. Pretty clutch hitting tonight.”
It was all Commodores (51-10) from there – they added four more
runs in the fourth inning to mount an 8-0 lead. Senior catcher
Curt Casali drove in a run with a productive out just before
Yastrzemski launched a three-run shot over the wall in
right-center, his third of the season. The sophomore finished
with two hits and led the Commodores with four RBI on the night.
The home run was just the fourth given up in 120-plus innings
this season by Gaviglio.
SEC freshman player of the year Tony Kemp added a two-out RBI to
plate Conrad Gregor in the fifth.
(12-3) (left) came into the contest sporting a 1.87 ERA and
departed in the sixth having given up 10 earned runs on nine
hits and six walks. Gaviglio, the Pac-10 pitcher of the year,
had allowed 24 earned runs in 16 starts entering Friday – his
ERA jumped to 2.54.
“We certainly created some big innings for them, a two-out walk,
and misplayed fly balls, so we certainly need to play better
baseball,” Beavers coach Pat Casey said. “They played very, very
well. They are very talented. You can’t give them extra outs –
two-out walks that hurt you in Little League will hurt you in
high school, and will really hurt you in college, so we just
have to play better baseball. But, they played tremendously.”
Esposito welcomed reliever Cam Booser with a two-out, two-run
shot into the left-field bleachers to cap the Vanderbilt
scoring. The Commodores scored 10 of their 11 runs with two
Beavers (41-18) got on the board in the seventh inning when Jake
Rodriguez scored Danny Hayes from second base with a single into
right off Gray (12-3). It was the final batter Gray (right)
The junior, the 18th
overall pick in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland
Athletics this week, received a standing ovation from the home
crowd after departing in the seventh inning of what may have
been his final start at Hawkins Field. The righty allowed four
hits over 6.1 innings and struck out four.
Vanderbilt lefty Corey Williams pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in
relief, retiring the final seven Oregon State batters in order
with three strikeouts.
Rodriquez went 3 for 3 for the Beavers, his sixth multi-hit game
of the season and second consecutive.
The two teams square off in the second game of the Super
Regional Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET. Grayson Garvin takes the
hill for Vanderbilt; the Beavers’ starter has yet to be