Vanderbilt routs Belmont
Eight different Commodore hitters drive in a run
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Curt Casali drove in three runs, Mike Yastrzemski collected three hits and Vanderbilt scored six runs in the fourth inning en route to a 10-0 victory against Belmont in the second game of the Nashville regional on Friday.
With the victory, the Commodores (48-10) advance to take on Troy on Saturday, while Belmont (36-25) will face Oklahoma State in an elimination game.
Casali doubled home two runs in the first inning to give the Commodores an early lead and added an RBI groundout during the six-run fourth inning. Vanderbilt took advantage of a pair of throwing errors by Belmont starter Matt Hamann in the fourth, which, along with five hits, gave the Commodores a commanding advantage.
Vanderbilt starter Sonny Gray (11-3) tossed six shutout innings for the Commodores, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning until Greg Brody's single to left. The right-hander gave up three hits, did not walk a batter, struck out three and tossed just 68 pitches.
Yastrzemski started the fourth inning with a single and also singled in the sixth and eighth innings, leading the Commodores 15-hit attack. Anthony Gomez, Aaron Westlake, Jason Esposito, Conrad Gregor and Riley Reynolds all recorded a pair of hits for Vanderbilt, while Gomez scored three times.
Hamann (9-2) got off to a rocky start, giving up two first-inning runs, before settling down for the next two innings. He endured until the sixth, giving up seven earned runs on 14 hits with two strikeouts.
The Commodores broke the game open in the fourth inning.
Yastrzemski led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Esposito's single to left. Gregor followed with a single before Connor Harrell put down a sacrifice bunt, but Hamann's throw to first was in the dirt, loading the bases.
A single to left from Reynolds plated a run, as did a line drive to right by Tony Kemp. Gomez squeezed home Harrell and Hamann's throw to first hit the runner in the helmet.
Westlake's single to right plated one run and Casali's groundout pushed across the final run of the frame for an 8-0 advantage.
Vanderbilt added two more runs in the fifth, chasing Hamann from the contest. Gomez led off with a single and Casali was hit before consecutive RBI singles from Yastrzemski and Esposito.
Belmont put together its best scoring chance in the seventh against Commodore reliever Will Clinard, with Matt Zablo drawing a leadoff walk and singles from Tim Egerton and Brody. But Clinard got a pair of strikeouts and a groundout by Zac Mitchell to end the inning.
The Bruins loaded the bases again in the ninth with a walk, a hit batter and a single, but Jack Armstrong worked out of the jam with two more strikeouts and a groundout.