Baseball: Vanderbilt 12, Belmont 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt pounded out 15 hits and got some timely two-out hitting en route to a 12-5 win over Belmont at Hawkins Field Tuesday.

The Commodores scored six runs in the first inning and played solid defense for ts SEC leading 25th win of the year.

Offensively, the Commodores (25-6) had six players with at least two hits in the game. Jason Esposito led Vanderbilt with three hits and four RBI, including a triple and double.

Belmont got on the scoreboard first when Derek Hamblen hit a one-out solo home run to left center off of starter Drew Hayes, giving Belmont a 1-0 lead.

Vanderbilt responded quickly in the bottom half of the first when they plated six runs on seven hits while batting through the order.

Brian Harris led off the inning with a double and then advanced to third on a Riley Reynolds ground out. Aaron Westlake drove in the first run of the game an RBI-single through the right side, scoring Harris from third. After a single by RBI-single through the right side, scoring Harris from third. After a single by Andrew Giobbi, Jason Esposito doubled to left-center scoring Giobbi and Westlake to make it 3-1. After Esposito scored, Drew Fann and Anthony Gomez recorded back-to-back singles, giving VU a 5-1 lead. Harris then drove in Fann recorded back-to-back singles, giving VU a 5-1 lead. Harris then drove in Fann with his second hit of the inning with an RBI-single to eft-center to make it 6-1.

"We had a good first inning and a good sixth inning," Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. "I thought we threw away a few at-bats and we hit into some double plays, but we got ourselves out of it. We had some good two-out rallies."

Belmont got one run back in the top of second when Tim Egerton led-off the nning with a solo-home run to left field.

Vanderbilt continued to lead 6-2 until the Bruins plated three runs on four hits in the top of the fourth inning. BU's Matt Zeblo led off the inning with a single and than advanced to third on Egerton's single to left. After Hayes put Vinny Casha down on strikes, Phillip Parsley drove in Zeblo with an RBI-single to shortstop. down on strikes, Phillip Parsley drove in Zeblo with an RBI-single to shortstop. Belmont's other two runs in the inning came on two-out two-RBI double by Jared Breen. All three outs in the inning came on strikeouts by Hayes.

With VU leading 6-5, the Commodores plated three runs on three hits, all with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it a 9-5 game.

Harris drew a one-out walk and then advanced to third on Westlake's single. Giobbi than drove in Harris from third with an RBI-single through the left side to make the score 7-5.

In the next at-bat, Esposito plated two more runs with a two-RBI triple to the right- next at-bat, Esposito plated two more runs with a two-RBI triple to the right- center gap, scoring Giobbi and Westlake to extend it to 9-5.

Vanderbilt added another run in the seventh when Mike Yastrzemski launched a one-out pinch-hit RBI-double off the left-field wall, scoring Gomez from second base to make it 10-5.

The Commodores closed out the scoring in the eighth when they scored two runs on two hits to make it 12-5. Giobbi led off the inning with an eight-pitch walk and than advanced to second on Esposito's third hit of the contest with a single through the left side. VU than took advantage of two wild pitches by Matt single through the left side. VU than took advantage of two wild pitches by Matt Fanchier, allowing Giobbi to score and moving Esposito to third. After Joe Loftus grounded into a fielder's choice, Fann drove a 1-0 pitch from Fanchier to the right-center gap scoring Loftus from first.

VU starter Drew Hayes allowed five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out seven in five innings of work.

Will Clinard and Grayson Garvin closed out the game with a combined four- nnings of scoreless relief. Clinard allowed two hits in three innings of relief while Garvin closed out the game by striking out the side in the ninth.

In two appearances this season, Garvin has retired all six of the batters he's faced by strikeouts.

"Hayes gave us a decent start, got us going a little bit," Corbin said. "I thought Will came in and slowed them down a little bit, giving them a different look. Grayson Garvin at the end was pretty impressive. Overall the pitching was good, we didn't allow any freebies. We felt Garvin (photo at right) needed an inning to get back into things. We came into this game hoping Garvin would get a chance to pitch. Grayson is a key component of our pitching staff now that Williams is out."

The Commodores will be back in Southeastern Conference action this weekend as Eastern division leader South Carolina comes to town for a three-game set. The series begins on Friday at 6 p.m. and will continue on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

"It's a big weekend for us, in terms of making headway," Corbin stated. "We're 5- 4, they're 7-2, so this is a big series for sure. We're glad we're home. They can hit and they have some good pitching. They have a lot of experience, so it'll be a battle."

Single game tickets are available and can be purchased online at www.vucommodores.com or through the Vanderbilt Athletic Ticket Office at (615) 322-GOLD.
Belmont     110 300 000-590
Vanderbilt  600 003 12x-12(15)0
Hamann, Fanchier (4) and Casha. Hayes, Clinard (6), Garvin (9) and Giobbi. W-Hayes, (3-0) , L-Hamann, (4-2). Sv- None. HR: BU: Hamblen (3); Egerton (4)

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