June 22, 2011
Hill holds down Heels as Vandy
By Phil Stanton
(photos by Jimmy Jones)
Neb. – Senior Taylor Hill (right) hurled seven strong
innings to lead sixth-seeded Vanderbilt past third-seeded North
Carolina 5-1 in an elimination game Wednesday evening in the
2011 College World Series at breezy TD Ameritrade Park.
The Commodores (54-11) will face second-seeded
Florida on Friday at 1 p.m. CT. Vandy will have to defeat the
Gators on both Friday and Saturday to advance to the
Hill scattered four hits and four walks over
seven innings. He allowed one run and struck out four.
“The story was Taylor Hill, from a pitching
standpoint,” VU head coach Tim Corbin said. “I thought he came
out and pitched very well. He set the tone early, throwing a lot
of strikes, keeping them off base. He did a good job of
neutralizing their offense and got us deep into the ballgame.”
Hill worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the
fifth by striking out Jacob Stallings to end the threat.
Stallings had doubled in his first two at-bats against Hill.
“We had a couple of opportunities, but I thought
Hill pitched really well,” UNC head coach Mike Fox said. “He had
a good sinker out there with the wind blowing out like it was.
We had a lot of groundballs, especially early.”
Of Hill’s first 16 outs, eight were groundball
outs and four were strikeouts.
Sophomore lefty Corey Williams finished the game
for the Commodores, tossing two hitless innings with one walk
and one strikeout.
The Commodores jumped on the board in the bottom
of the first as speedy Tony Kemp led off with a triple to right
center and came in on a sacrifice fly to right by Anthony Gomez.
lead grew in the second. Mike Yastrzemski had a leadoff single
and stole second with one away. Conrad Gregor walked and Connor
Harrell (left) crushed a 2-1 pitch into the stands in left
center for a three-run homer to give Vandy a 4-0 advantage. It
was the second CWS dinger for Harrell, both against UNC, and his
ninth of the season.
“The wind was a factor tonight,” Harrell said.
“But I just tried to get my hands extended, get the ball in the
jet stream and get it into the seats.”
Curt Casali kept the scoring going with a solo
homer in the third, his seventh, as the lead grew to 5-0.
UNC (51-16) finally scored in the fifth as Brian
Holberton has a one-out single and scored on a fielder’s choice
by Ben Bunting. The Tar Heels left the bases loaded and trailed
Greg Holt (7-2) was the starter and loser for UNC,
allowing four hits and five earned runs in 2.2 innings. He
walked one and struck out two. Holt was the first of five
pitchers for the Heels.
Harrell and Gregor both finished with two hits