Vandy takes 2-of-3 from Auburn

The Auburn Tigers entered Nashville on Friday ranked No. 23 and coming off a series win over No. 3 LSU. They would not be as fortunate in Nashville. Vanderbilt secured the series win with a walk off solo homerun by Aaron Westlake, improving Vanderbilt's season record to 29-9 and 8-7 in the SEC. Auburn drops to 24-13 and 8-7 in the SEC.

The weekend started on Friday with Sonny Gray (5-4) going 6 and 1/3 innings, allowing only 1 earned run. The Vanderbilt bats responded with 12 hits, which was a welcome change to recent offensive output. Connor Harrell had a grand slam home run in the game and picked up 5 RBIs on the night. Curt Casali re-entered the batting order and went 2 for 3 on Friday. Joe Loftus, Aaron Westlake, and Jason Esposito each also had 2 hits on the night. Richie Goodenow closed the last 2 and 2/3 innings, securing an 11-6 Commodore win.

Saturday was a different story as Jack Armstrong (5-1) picked up his first loss of 2010, going only 2 and 1/3 innings against a hot hitting Auburn team. Armstrong gave up 7 hits and 8 runs (5 earned runs), 3 walks and had 2 strikeouts. Chase Reid followed Armstrong and went 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 earned runs, and had a solid 8 strikeouts. Will Clinard closed the 9th inning and allowed 2 runs, 1 earned run, 1 walk and no strikeouts. Auburn had 16 hits on Saturday compared to only 5 for Vanderbilt. The Commodores thus lost this game, 12-2.

The rubber game of the match was Sunday pitting Taylor Hill against the Jr. LHP, Grant Dayton of Auburn. Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin shook up his batting order in an effort to find more offensive production from his lineup. Chief amongst the changes was moving Anthony Gomez from the ninth spot in the order to the leadoff spot. Gomez responded by getting a hit in his first at bat. Brian Harris, batting second, went 2-of-3, hitting a huge 2-strike single to centerfield that scored two runners from 2nd and 3rd. However, the big hit of the afternoon occurred in the bottom of the 9th. With the score tied at 2-2, Aaron Westlake was the first batter in the 9th. Westlake was expecting an inside fastball and swung hard and missed at a high inside fastball, nicking his arm. He stepped back to the plate and Grant Dayton went to the well once more and Westlake took it deep over the right field wall, just inside the pole for the walk off win.

Taylor Hill went 8 and 2/3 innings, allowing 7 hits, getting 7 strikeouts, with no walks. Richie Goodenow came in with 2 outs in the 9th and promptly got Justin Hargett to fly out to centerfield. Goodenow (2-0) gets the win but Taylor Hill deserves all the credit.

Vanderbilt has a busy upcoming road week. They start on Tuesday with an away game at David Lipscomb (6PM) and then travel to Middle Tennessee (6PM) on Wednesday. Vanderbilt then travels to Knoxville for a 3 game series with Tennessee (18-19 and 4-11 in the SEC), beginning at 6PM on Friday.


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