June 5, 2011

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Regional Scores


Hill fans 13 as Vanderbilt wins regional

By Jimmy Jones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

(photos by Jimmy Jones)


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Taylor Hill (right) struck out a career-best 13 in eight innings, allowing only one run, and NCAA Regional Tournament MVP Jason Esposito had three hits with a double, home run and two RBI in Vanderbilt's 6-1 victory over Belmont in the championship game of the Nashville Regional Sunday night at Hawkins Field.

Hill (5-1) was dominant from the beginning, striking out six of the first 13 batters of the contest and giving up just five hits in matching his longest outing of the season. The only blip was the Bruins Tim Egerton's solo homer leading off the second inning.

Vanderbilt scored a run in the second after back-to-back singles from Conrad Gregor and Connor Harrell and walks to Riley Reynolds and Tony Kemp who received credit for a RBI.

Egerton saw to it that the lead was short-lived as he lined a leadoff homer just over the wall in left field.

The Commodores (50-10). added two more runs in the third, with a walk to senior catcher Curt Casali, and a single to center by Mike Yastrzemski. Esposito lined a RBI double into right center and Gregor's line drive to left center plated another run for a 3-1 VU advantage.

In the sixth, Reynolds singled with one out and Kemp reached on an error before Anthony Gomez doubled just inside the third base bag. Casali's line drive into left center field scored Kemp for a 5-1 lead.

Esposito (left) finished the scoring with a laser into the left field bleachers to lead off the seventh inning.

"I think the first thing is to congratulate Belmont on a great year," VU coach Tim Corbin said. "I'm really happy for Dave Jarvis. The fact that they could take that program and get to a regional this year. They have a lot of good kids. I have good relationships with several of the kids on the team. I looked forward to watching how they progressed over the season.

"In terms of tonight, I'm proud of the group. I'm proud of what they did. Tonight was a pitching night. When you can take care of 14 of the outs on the mound, that says a lot of Taylor Hill and Mark (Lamm) finishing up. Taylor was really good tonight. He was very strong for us. He gave us exactly that type of effort last week and it was good to be able to see him get that effort again and be on the topside of things after tonight."

BU starter James Buckelew (2-7) took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in three innings of work. He walked four and did not strike out a batter

Gomez, Reynolds and Gregor all collected two hits for Vanderbilt. Judah Akers recorded two of Belmont's six hits in the contest.

"The story of the game tonight was Taylor Hill and his performance," BU coach Dave Jarvis said. "I thought it was a very outstanding performance. I know Taylor and I know his family. What an outstanding young man. I'm happy to see him flourish like he did tonight.

"It's bittersweet for our kids to see the season come to an end after all we accomplished. I couldn't be prouder of this team and this group of guys, the character they showed and the way they played. They respected the game throughout the course of this year. And I gave so much credit for that to our senior class."