Baseball: Vanderbilt, Troy win on Friday

NASHVILLE-- Curt Casali drove in three runs, Mike Yastrzemski collected three hits and Vanderbilt scored six runs in the fourth inning en route to a 10-0 victory over Belmont in the second game Friday in the Nashville Regional at Hawkins Field.

With the victory the Commodores (48-10) advance to take on Troy at 7 p.m. on Saturday, while Belmont (36-25) will take on Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. in an elimination game.

Casali doubled home two runs in the first inning to give the Commodores an early lead and added an RBI groundout during the six-run fourth inning. Vanderbilt took advantage of a pair of throwing errors by Belmont starter Matt Hamann in the fourth, which along with five hits gave VU a commanding advantage.

Vanderbilt starter Sonny Gray (11-3) tossed six shutout innings for the Commodores, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning until a solid single to left from Greg Brody. The righthander gave up three hits, did not walk a batter, struck out three and tossed just 68 pitches.

Yastrzemski started the fourth inning with a single and also singled in the sixth and eighth innings, leading the Commodores 15-hit attack. Anthony Gomez, Aaron Westlake, Jason Esposito, Conrad Gregor and Riley Reynolds all recorded a pair of hits for CU, while Gomez scored three times.

Hamann (9-2) got off to a rocky start, giving up two first-inning runs, before settling down for the next two innings. He endured until the sixth, giving up seven earned runs on 14 hits with two strikeouts.

The Commodores wasted little time getting on top, collecting a single and a pair of doubles on consecutive pitches in the bottom of the first, with Casali's double to right putting VU ahead 2-0.

Vanderbilt took advantage of a pair of throwing errors by Hamann along with five hits to push across six runs in the fourth, taking control of the game.

Yastrzemski led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Esposito's single to left. Gregor followed with a single before Connor Harrell put down a sacrifice bunt, but Hamann's throw to first was in the dirt, loading the bases.

A single to left from Reynolds plated a run, as did a line drive to right by Tony Kemp. Gomez squeezed home Harrell and Hamann's throw to first hit the runner in the helmet.

Westlake's single to right plated one run and Casali's groundout push across the final run of the frame for an 8-0 Commodores advantage.

VU added two more runs in the fifth, chasing Hamann from the contest.

Gomez led off with a single and Casali was hit before consecutive RBI singles from Yastrzemski and Esposito.

Belmont put together its best scoring chance in the seventh against Commodore reliever Will Clinard, with Matt Zablo drawing a leadoff walk and singles from Tim Egerton and Brody. But Clinard got a pair of strikeouts and a groundout by Zac Mitchell to end the inning.

The Bruins loaded the bases again in the ninth with a walk, a hit batter and a single, but Jack Armstrong worked out of the jam with two more strikeouts and a groundout to end the contest.
           1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9    R  H E
BELMONT    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -  0  6 2
VANDERBILT 2 0 0 6 0 2 0 0 0 - 10 15 0


Troy 9, Oklahoma State 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Backed by an impressive outing from top starting pitcher Tyler Ray, Troy pulled away from Oklahoma State late to claim the first game of the NCAA Nashville Regional on Friday afternoon at Hawkins Field with a 9-2 victory.

Ray (12-0) struck out five Oklahoma State batters in 7.2 innings of work and allowed just two hits after the third inning. Lefthander Nathan Hill retired the final four Cowboys to secure the win.

Luis Uribe's leadoff home run in the bottom of the second inning and an RBI single by Zach Johnson in the third inning gave Oklahoma State an early 2-0 advantage. But Ray settled down to keep the Cowboys within range and the Trojans cut the lead in half with a run in the fifth and scored three runs in the sixth to take the lead for good. Cowboy starter Hunter Herrera (3-2) was chased after 5.1 innings and credited with the loss.

The Trojans batted around in the eighth and scored five runs to extend their lead out to seven. Third baseman Tyler Hannah drove in three with a bases-loaded triple over the head of the OSU rightfielder Devin Shines and scored two batters later when Trojan second baseman T.J. Rivera capped off his 3-for-5 day with a two-run double.

Oklahoma State will play tomorrow at 2 p.m. against the loser of tonight's game between Vanderbilt and Belmont, while Troy will take on the winner of tonight's game tomorrow at 7 p.m.
           1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R  H E
TROY       0 0 0 1 0 3 0 5 0 - 9 11 0
OK STATE   0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 2  8 2

Oklahoma State Cowboys catcher Dane Phillips (19) slides into second against the Troy State Trojans during the Nashville regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Hawkins Field. The Trojans beat the Cowboys 9-2. (Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE) Top Stories