"These kids have battled their whole careers," said Michigan coach Rich Maloney. "We now have guys who have been to Regionals three times. They're laying it all on the line and they're going to do everything for the team. We haven't won anything yet but we've put ourselves in a great position."
The game was scoreless until the fifth when Parker Hanks homered to give Vanderbilt a 1-0 lead. The Wolverines responded with three runs in the sixth on a three-run double by Nate Recknagel off Mike Minor, who gave up three runs on five hits in 7.1 innings while striking out six and walking none.
Equally impressive was Michigan's Mike Wilson, who gave up three runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings. He struck out six and walked five. "I felt like I was good enough to win today," Wilson said. "When I put the ball in play the guys behind me made plays and that's what it's about, making plays. There were a couple mistakes here and there but fortunately my offense picked me up and we were able to win the game."
The Wolverines, which lost to the Commodores twice in last year's Atlanta Regional, scored the run in the ninth of Vanderbilt closer Casey Weathers. Brett Jacobson started the inning and gave up a single to Adam Abraham before turning the ball over to Weathers.
Abraham moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Doug Pickens and then to third on a wild pitch. After a line out and a walk, Cislo hit a ground ball in the hole between shortstop and third. Ryan Flaherty made a diving snag and threw to second but it was not in time.
In the bottom of the ninth, Abraham, who moved from third base to the mound, retired the first two batters before giving up singles to Dominic de la Osa and Pedro Alvarez. He then struck out Flaherty to record the save.
"Flaherty can hit. He's a good hitter with a 32-game hitting streak," said coach Tim Corbin. "That's who I want at the plate. If it happens again, I'm going to want him up there again."
Alvarez, Flaherty and Hanks each had two hits for Vanderbilt, which stranded 11 runners on the evening.
"They're playing with a backpack on their body and I've got to help them take that off," Corbin said. "I've got to relieve some pressure from them. We need a game to get us going and hopefully it will be tomorrow at 2:00." Michigan, meanwhile, can rest up until the evening. Abraham and Cislo had two hits, while Christian added a run a hit and run.
"Finding this win puts us in a great position and this certainly is one of the wins you need to have for success as a program," Maloney said.
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Michigan............ 000 003 001 - 4 7 0 Vanderbilt.......... 000 010 020 - 3 10 0 -------------------------------------------