June 11, 2011

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Super Regional Results, Schedules & Capsules


Westlake Leads Vanderbilt West to Omaha

Commodores reach College World Series for first time


By Jimmy Jones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

(photos by Jimmy Jones)


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The local forecast called for possible inclement weather, but it was Aaron Westlake who supplied the thunder with three home runs to propel the Vanderbilt Commodores to a 9-3 win over Oregon State to win their first-ever Super Regional.


The sixth-seeded Commodores (52-10) became the second team to qualify for the 2011 College World Series, and will face third-seeded North Carolina on Saturday, June 18, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.


"It's tough to put into words," VU coach Tim Corbin said. "I first want to congratulate Oregon State. That was a tough one tonight. They have been in this position before and have come out on the winning side, so we were fortunate to get through it. Moments like this are for Charlie Hawkins, Rod Williamson, people who have been at Vanderbilt a long time and have seen a lot of things. 


VU, playing as the visitors, got on the board first when Anthony Gomez singled and Westlake sent a searing line drive into the right centerfield bleachers for a 2-0 advantage.


The Beavers (41-19) cut it in half on an RBI single by Parker Berberet to plate Ryan Dunn in the bottom half.


OSU tied the game in the third inning off of VU starter Grayson Garvin using an infield error to push a run across. Brian Stamps led off the frame with a bunt single, reached second on a walk and third on VU's second error of the game. Berberet picked up his second RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field. Garvin would get out the inning with a strikeout and a groundout to keep the game knotted at 2-2.


Baltimore Oriole draftee Jason Esposito's RBI single to score Gomez in the fifth gave Vanderbilt back the lead and they would not relinquish it again.


Vanderbilt broke the game open in the sixth. Gomez's fourth hit of the contest drove in Connor Harrell  and Tony Kemp before Westlake (right) then connected on the second pitch from Beaver reliever Matt Boyd for a majestic shot that disappeared into the night to give the hosts a commanding 7-2 lead.


Sophomore Will Clinard was outstanding in relief of Garvin. He came on with two out and one on the fifth inning. After a walk loaded the bases, Clinard got out of the inning with a strikeout and a popup.


The right-hander would retire nine straight batters before a home run by Carter Bell in the eighth. He pitched the final 4.2 innings of relief and allowed only one run to pick up the win.


Westlake finished the scoring with a two-run shot in the eighth inning for his sixth RBI of the game.


"It's a good feeling to be part of a team that brings joy to the community, brings joy to the university,” Corbin said. “I'm really, really proud of the kids. You have asked a lot of questions about 2007 and there was a large part of me that wanted you to put that to bed because that moment right there causes a lot of inner turmoil with coaches who have seen it. Now you can bury that one very deep because it's 2011, and what these kids have achieved to get to this point is phenomenal, the consistency that they have shown throughout the year, athletically and academically.


“We talked about the day we were going to open Ameritrade Stadium. We said the stadium will be built then, but will we be built then. We are built today. We are going, but the train has another stop. We'll enjoy it for 48 hours and then get back to work. I'm so proud of these kids. I love them, not just because they won this game tonight, but because they are going to have great memories." 


The Beavers were led offensively by Bell with a double and a solo home run.


"I'd like to, on behalf of our program and our university Oregon State, congratulate Vanderbilt," OSU coach Pat Casey said." They're a great team, we wish them a lot of luck and they certainly earned their way to Omaha."