Baseball: VU-FSU Friday Recap

Vanderbilt has made a living out of winning close games this season, but it was the Florida State Seminoles that got the game winning hit in Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regional baseball tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. on Friday. The Commodores played from behind for most of the day but battled back to tie and take the lead late in the 7th inning.

FSU countered and was able to tie the score again in the 8th and the score stayed at 8-8 until the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs. Mike McGee then launched a walk-off homer to right center field that sealed the win for the Seminoles in Game 1.

Taylor Hill started on the mound for Vanderbilt and was roughed up early as FSU scored 6 unanswered runs in the first 2 innings. After the tough start, Hill settled down and pitched 3 scoreless innings. Over 5 innings, Hill allowed 6 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks with 2 strikeouts. Richie Goodenow provided relieve in the 6th inning and went 1 2/3 innings allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 1 walk with 1 strikeout. Chase Reid (4-2) then took the bump and pitched the final 2 innings. Reid gave up 2 earned runs with 1 of them being the game winner. He allowed 2 hits, no walks and secured 1 strikeout in taking the loss.

FSU started Sean Gilmartin and the LHP looked almost un-hittable in the first 2 innings. Vanderbilt hitters came alive in the 3rd, as they loaded the bases with 2 outs before Aaron Westlake flied out to the short stop to end the threat. In the 4th inning, Curt Casali put Vanderbilt on the scoreboard with a homerun to right field. The Commodores added 3 more runs in the 5th, forcing FSU to use their bullpen and bring in Geoff Parker. Vandy added 2 more runs in the 6th after Joe Loftus homered to right and Mike Yastrzemski doubled to center. Anthony Gomez later singled allowing Yastrzemski to score.

Vanderbilt took their first lead of the day in the 7th inning as Jason Esposito lead off with a homerun, giving the Commodores a 7-6 lead. FSU quickly answered however, with Sherman Johnson and Mike McGee hitting back-to-back singles. Johnson advanced to 3rd base on a wild pitch and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center by James Ramsey.

Vanderbilt would not be denied in the 8th inning as Mike Yastrzemski homered to right to once again put the cardiac ‘Dores on top with an 8-7 lead. But Jayce Boyd answered the call in the bottom half of the 8th and once again tied the game with a solo homerun to left. Vanderbilt bats went scoreless in the 9th and left it up to Chase Reid to get them to the 10th. Reid quickly recorded 2 long fly outs to center before Mike McGee stepped to the plate. McGee then launched a home run over the right center field wall to seal the win. Daniel Bennett pitched the final 2 innings for the Seminoles and picked up the win to go to 5-1 on the year.

Bats were hot on both teams as Vanderbilt recorded 16 hits and FSU had 12. Vanderbilt had 4 homers on the day (Esposito, Casali, Loftus, and Yastrzemski) and FSU had 3 (Johnson, Boyd, and McGee). Curt Casali, who suffered from a 0 and forever slump at the end of the season, was red hot in Tallahassee, going 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs. Yastrzemski, Loftus, Gomez and Esposito (3 RBIs) each added 2 hits on the day. Boyd led the Seminoles with 3 hits, while Travis, Holt, Johnson, and McGee each added 2 hits apiece.

Both teams will strap on the cleats again on Saturday in Game 2 of the best 2 out of 3 Super regional series (Noon CST on ESPN). Vanderbilt will send their ace, Sonny Gray to the hill and hope that he can keep Vanderbilt's post-season hopes alive. FSU is expected to counter with Brian Busch, LHP who is a red shirt freshman with an ERA of 4.24 and a record of 5-1. Vanderbilt has their back against the wall now, having lost game 1, and now must win the next 2 games to punch their ticket to Omaha. This Commodore team has not let anything stop them yet and these last 2 games may just be a dogfight. Pull up a chair and enjoy the spectacle of great college baseball.

VandyMania.com Top Stories