‘Extra’ Vandy effort pays huge dividends
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 5:09 pm
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Vanderbilt freshman Connor Harrell was called on to do the unexpected at just right time.
Harrell’s squeeze bunt with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Vanderbilt a 3-2 win over Louisville on Monday night, sending the Commodores to the super regionals to face Florida State this weekend.
“It kind of freaked me out a little when I got the sign because I didnt have many bunts this season,” Harrell said. “But I got the sign and laid the bunt down to win the game, it was pretty simple.”
Curt Casali, who was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on Mike Yastrzemski’s single, scored the that allowed the Commodores (45-18) to advance to the super regionals for the second time.
Vanderbilt pitcher Drew Hayes, a member of the 2008-09 Union City Greyhounds’ teams and a McKenzie product, did not pitch.
Hayes is expected to be picked today during Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft.
The Cardinals (50-14), who had head coach Dan McDonnell back for the first time from a three-game suspension for his altercation with umpires during the Big East Tournament, lost to Vanderbilt for the third time in four meetings this season.
“Once you get to extra innings the home team definitely has the advantage and they capitalized on it,” McDonnell said. “Thats an unbelievable college baseball game there.”
Even before the winning play Harrell had already helped out on defense. In the third inning Louisville leadoff hitter Jeff Arnold drilled a slider from Garvin to center field, but Harrell made a leaping over-the-fence catch to take away what would have been a two-run homer.
“He ended up winning the game, I guess it was his day,” Arnold said.
Louisville had tied the game in the top of the ninth on Arnold’s two-out, RBI-single.
Taylor Hill (6-5) picked up the win with one inning of perfect relief. Louisville reliever Neil Holland (8-1) took the loss.
The Commodores took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on Casali’s two-out, RBI-single against Louisville starter Thomas Royse.
The right-hander, the Big East Pitcher of the Year, has been battling an illness recently and gave up eight hits and one earned run while striking out five over 5 1-3 innings.
The Cardinals tied the game in the seventh when Ryan Wright and Phil Wunderlich led off with back-to-back singles to chase Vanderbilt starter Grayson Garvin.
Wright, who had stolen second and moved to third on Wunderlich’s single, scored on Stewart Ijames’ ground out.
Garvin gave up only three hits over six innings in his second start of the season.
The Commodores regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Louisville reliever Tony Zych walked leadoff hitter Brian Harris.
Harris advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on Jason Esposito’s one-out, single to left.