Photo Story: Commodores shine on Team USA

DURHAM, NC -- On Saturday night, Vanderbilt stars Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty helped Team USA defeat the Netherlands 14-0 at Durham Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina. VandyMania's Whitney D was there and shares some photos from the evening.

If you're a sports fan and a movie buff, when you hear the phrase "Durham Bulls", you probably think of the movie, "Bull Durham." But times have changed since then. Eight years ago, the Bulls opened a new park in the American Tobacco Historic District in downtown Durham, where old tobacco warehouses have been converted into an upscale entertainment district.

If you were wondering whether baseball fans in Durham would show up for an exhibition baseball game featuring a team other than the Durham Bulls, the answer is "yes".

The famous "Durham Bull" with the "HIT BULL WIN STEAK" sign was moved from the old park to the new one.

Official attendance at the game was 4,395.

An appearance by Sponge Bob Square Pants was part of the between-innings entertainment.

It's not a misprint on the scoreboard. Flaherty plays shortstop at Vanderbilt, but he has been Team USA's second baseman.

On Saturday night, he was 3-5 at the plate with four RBIs.

Pedro Alvarez has been playing third base for Team USA, just like he does at Vanderbilt.

Alvarez is batting .333 for the summer and is second on the team in both home runs (4) and slugging percentage (.533).

Flaherty didn't win a steak, but his 3-run homer in the eighth inning earned the traditional salute from the bull - waving tail, flashing red eyes, and smoke pouring from his nostrils.

Vanderbilt Coach Tim Corbin was in town for the game, following a week of traveling to see Vanderbilt players in the summer leagues in the northeast. After the game, the Vanderbilt contingent posed for a photo. From left, Steven Goldburg, a student manager at Vanderbilt, Pedro Alvarez, Coach Corbin, Mike Minor, and Ryan Flaherty. (Click photo to view a larger image.)

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Photos copyright 2007 by Whitney D for Top Stories