Baseball: Commodores top West Virginia

NASHVILLE - Head Coach Roy Mewbourne registered his 900th career coaching victory Saturday, Feb, 16, as his Vanderbilt Commodores held off West Virginia 7-6 at Hawkins Field. With the win the Commodores improve to 2-0 in the early season while the Mountaineers drop their season opener to fall to 0-1.

In his 30th season as collegiate baseball coach, Mewbourne owns a career mark of 900-654-9 with a 633-581-9 record at Vanderbilt. He is the 35th collegiate baseball coach to reach the 900-win plateau and ranks 19th all-time in wins among active coaches.

The Commodores jumped out to a 7-1 lead through five innings before holding off the Mountaineers in the late innings. Vanderbilt collected 16 hits led by sophomore catcher Jonathan Douillard, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Senior outfielder Karl Nonemaker added a 3-for-5 performance with two runs scored, a double and a stolen base. While junior outfielder John Kaye posted a 2-for-3 afternoon with a pair of doubles and a run scored.

Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth Vanderbilt pulled away from the Mountaineers with a three-run inning. Sophomore right fielder Worth Scott hit a bases-loaded two-RBI single through the right side of the infield, scoring Douillard and senior second baseman Scott Vanderhoff. After Kaye was intentionally walked, sophomore third baseman Cesar Nicolas was hit by a pitch from WVU reliever Clayton Ewen to force in Nonemaker.

The Commodores tacked on their final run in the following inning when Douillard singled to right field, advanced to second on a balk and scored on an RBI-single to center field by Vanderhoff.

The Mountaineers mounted a comeback in their next at bat in the sixth. Center fielder Mike Frownfelter hit a bases-loaded single to center field, scoring first baseman Kurtis Clinton. After a sacrifice fly by left fielder Dallas Crews scored third baseman Tim McCabe, back-to-back errors at third base by VU's Nicolas allowed designated hitter Derek Cisar and Frownfelter to score, trimming the Commodores' lead to 7-5.

West Virginia added a run in the seventh when Crews singled in Clinton from second base. However, the Mountaineers could get no closer.

Vanderbilt starter Jeff Little (1-0) earned the win. In five and-a-third innings, he allowed eight hits, two earned runs and a walk while striking out three. Right-hander Chris Maultsby stopped WVU's scoring chances in the fifth, allowing only one walk in his two-thirds innings of work. After freshman right-hander Scott Shapiro worked two innings, senior right-hander Dean Bennett earned his first collegiate save at Vanderbilt, retiring West Virginia in order in the ninth.

WVU starter Billy Biggs (0-1) took the loss. He pitched three innings, allowing seven hits, five earned runs and walk to go along with four strikeouts. Vanderbilt and West Virginia conclude their two-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.

                                                            R H E


West Virginia....... 010   004  100   -      6 11 2

Vanderbilt..........  111   310   00X   -     7 16 4


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