Bunt single in 10th pushes Vanderbilt into Super Regional

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 9:35pm
Staff reports

Connor Harrell’s bunt single in the bottom of the 10th drove in Curt Casali with the game-winning run as Vanderbilt defeated Louisville 3-2 on Monday and advanced to the Super Regional round of the NCAA baseball tournament for just the second time.

It was the Commodores’ second extra-inning victory of the tournament.

Casali was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to third on a single by Mike Yastrzemski. Harrell then laid down a bunt to the first base side and brought home Casali.

Yastrzemski had a game-high three hits. Casali had two hits and an RBI.

Vanderbilt will face Florida State in the Super Regional at Tallahassee, Fla. Games will be 11 a.m. Friday (ESPN2), noon Saturday (ESPN) and, if necessary, noon Sunday (ESPN).

The school’s only previous trip to the Super Regional was in 2004 after it swept a regional hosted by the University of Virginia. The University of Texas won the best-of-three series in two games that year.

The victory was Vanderbilt’s second in as many days against Louisville, the tournament’s seventh overall seed. Also for the second day in a row, the Commodores got a quality effort from a starting pitcher who is typically a reliever.

Sophomore Grayson Garvin, in the third start of his career, allowed three hits and one run in six innings. With VU facing elimination Sunday, Richie Goodenow shut out the Cardinals on two hits.

Weekend starters Sonny Gray and Taylor Hill pitched the final three innings. Gray pitched the eighth and ninth and allowed a game-tying run in the ninth when he allowed a lead-off walk and back-to-back one-out singles. Hill retired all three hitters he faced in the 10th.

Lousville tied it 1-1 in the top of the seventh, but Vanderbilt regained the lead in the bottom half. Brian Harris led off with a single and moved to second on bunt by Anthony Gomez. Jason Esposito singled with two outs, and Harris beat the throw to the plate.

Two innings earlier, Esposito was one of three (Aaron Westlake and Joe Loftus were the others) who struck out in succession after the Commodores loaded the bases with no outs.

The sophomore third baseman also was thrown out at home in the bottom of the fourth when he tried to score from third on ground ball. Casali followed with an RBI single, which gave VU a 1-0 lead.

At Jim Patterson Stadium - Louisville, Ky.

Game 1: Vanderbilt 8, Illinois State 7 (13 innings)
Game 2: Louisville 11, Saint Louis 2

Game 3: Illinois State 8, St. Louis 3
Game 4: Louisville 7, Vanderbilt 1


Game 5: Vanderbilt 10, Illinois State 4
Game 6: Vanderbilt 7, Louisville 0

Game 7: Vanderbilt 3, Louisville 2 (10 innings)