Commodores collect a quartet of All-American honors

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 6:46pm
Staff reports

Four Vanderbilt players were named second-team All-America by Baseball America, the publication announced Wednesday.

Starting pitchers Grayson Garvin and Sonny Gray, first baseman Aaron Westlake and third baseman Jason Esposito were selected. The  Commodores had more overall selections than any other team in the country.

It was the second All-America honor for Garvin (13-1, 2.36 ERA), who also was named to Louisville Slugger’s second team. The left-hander was drafted 59th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays last week.

Gray is second on Vanderbilt’s all-time wins list, with 27 in three seasons. The right-hander is 12-3 this year with a 1.97 ERA.

He will start on Saturday when the Commodores (52-10) play North Carolina at 1 p.m. on ESPN in their first College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Gray was drafted 18th overall by the Oakland Athletics.

Esposito, a second-round round selection by the Baltimore Orioles, leads the team with a .357 batting average and 59 RBIs. Westlake is right behind him with a .352 average, a team-high 17 home runs and 54 RBIs. The slugger belted three in last weekend’s Super Regional clinching victory and was drafted in the third round by Detroit.

The selections come just two days after the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named VU pitchers T.J. Pecoraro and Kevin Ziomek as Freshman All-Americans.

Pecoraro went 7-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 17 games, including six starts. The right-hander hasn’t been available during the NCAA Tournament, though. He suffered an elbow injury during the Southeastern Conference Tournament and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery earlier this month.

Ziomek is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA, making five starts in 25 appearances. The left-hander has provided a big boost to the bullpen, striking out 46 in 44.2 innings.