"We had 18 innings of concentration and that's what I wanted out of the team today," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "I told them to put pressure on Cincinnati from the outset."
Junior left-hander Jeremy Sowers earned his third win of the season in Game One (3-0). Sowers pitched seven shutout innings giving up five hits, striking out six and walking one. He extended his scoreless innings to 15. He totaled eight scoreless innings vs. Maryland with only one hit in his last appearance (Feb. 27).
Sophomore right-hander Jeff Sues pitched one hitless inning giving up two runs (two earned) walking five and striking out two. Sophomore right-hander Blake Owen finished the game pitching one inning and did not allow a hit. Justin Minges picked up for the loss for Cincinnati giving up 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in five innings of play.
Vanderbilt scored two in the bottom of the second marking the first time this season the Commodores have scored in the second inning. Cesar Nicolas began the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a Mike Baxter single up the middle. Nicolas and Baxter each advanced on a wild pitch with Nicolas scoring on a Tony Mansolino grounder to second base. Worth Scott's single to right field scored Baxter.
The Commodores added two more runs in the third inning. Ryan Klosterman singled to center field, followed by another single from Antoan Richardson to left field. Klosterman advanced to third and Richardson moved to second on a Warner Jones grounder to shortstop. Nicolas then hit a sacrifice fly scoring Klosterman. Richardson advanced to third when the centerfielder lost control of the ball after the put out. Baxter then singled to left center scoring Richardson.
Vanderbilt totaled four runs in the fifth inning, giving the Commodores an 8-0 lead. Klosterman began the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a Richardson sacrifice bunt. Jones hit a double to left field scoring Klosterman for his 23rd RBI of the season. Nicolas was then hit by a pitch and Baxter followed with a double down the left field line for his second RBI of the game scoring Jones. Worth Scott then hit a single to right field that scored Baxter and Nicolas, but Scott was out in a run down between first and second bases.
The Bearkats scored two runs in the eighth inning without registering a hit and numbering five walks.
The Commodores totaled eight runs on 12 hits with one error, while Cinncinnati totaled two runs on five hits with one error.
Sophomore right-hander Jensen Lewis picked up his second win of the season in the second game of the doubleheader. Lewis struck out a career-high 11 batters (previous mark was six vs. two teams) and gave up four hits and one run (earned) while walking only one.
"I felt good out there today," Lewis said. "I threw a lot of strikes and kept them off balance. Coach (Derek) Johnson called a very nice game for me."
"I liked the pace of Jensen Lewis in the second game," Corbin said. "He threw a lot of strikes and had a pace that kept everyone in the game. He is looking good this season."
The Commodores scored one run in the first inning when Nicolas singled to center field scoring Jones who was on second after getting a single and advancing to second on a balk. Vanderbilt added two more in the second inning when Worth Scott hit his first home run of the season over the center field wall scoring Tony Mansolino who had singled to left field.
Cincinnati scored its lone run of the game in the third inning. Erik Eitel doubled to left field and advanced to third on a grounder by Brian Beltz. Drew Saylor singled to center field scoring Eitel.
Vanderbilt added four runs in the fourth inning starting with a run from Mansolino after Aaron Garza singled to left field. Garza then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Klosterman drew a walk and stole second. Richardson singled scoring Garza from third and advancing Klosterman to third. UC's Eric Eckman was called for a balk that scored Klosterman and moved Richardson to second. Jones then singled up the middle scoring Richardson.
The Commodores added one in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth inning, Matt McGraner hit is second double on the season and scored on a RBI from Garza. Jones added the Commodore's final run in the seventh with a home run over the left center field wall for his 25th RBI of the season which matches his 2003 total in 55 games.
In the two game series with Cincinnati, the Commodores are hitting .386 as a team going 27-70 and total 17 runs. VU numbers three doubles, two home runs and are 5-6 in stolen bases. Commodore pitchers have combined for 20 strikeouts allowing the Bearkats a .155 batting average (9-58) and one extra base hit.
"Defense is the name of the game," Corbin said. "That's what concerned me Wednesday (in 10-9 loss to Western Kentucky). We came out Thursday and worked on our fielding. Today was more of what Vanderbilt baseball is all about."
Vanderbilt and Cincinnati conclude the series tomorrow (Sunday) at 1 pm at Hawkins Field.