Richie Goodenow threw a two-hit shutout in the second start of his career as Vanderbilt defeated Louisville 7-0 on Sunday and extended the Louisville Regional to its final game.
The Commodores (44-18) and Cardinals (50-13) will play again at 5 p.m. (CDT) Monday, and the winner will advance to the Super Regional.
Goodenow, a junior, retired the first seven batters he faced before he allowed a one-out double in the third. Only two runners reached base, both on walks, before he allowed a one-out single in the eighth. He got out of the eighth when he got the next batter to hit into a double play. He needed just six pitches to get the final three outs in the ninth.
His only previous start was April 14, 2009 against Middle Tennessee State and his longest career outing was 4.2 innings of relief against Oklahoma State earlier this season.
"(Goodenow's) performance (Sunday) was maybe as good as I've seen in 28 years of coaching," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "The importance of it, the fact that he was down in the bullpen for most of the first game (against Illinois State), the fact that he's never pitched a game that long since he's been at Vanderbilt.
"He faced two (batters) over the minimum. Not much more you can say about it."
Only five VU pitchers – David Price, Matt Buschmann, Ryan Mullins, Jeff Peeples and Caleb Cotham – had ever thrown nine innings in an NCAA tournament contest.
The school’s only prior NCAA shutout victories were against Indiana (10-0) and MTSU (6-0) last year. Cotham shut out MTSU on four hits a day after Sonny Gray and Taylor Hill allowed nine hits combined against MTSU.
"I just wanted to help my team win and we accomplished that," Goodenow said. "Hopefully we will get them again on Monday."
The Commodores took the lead when Aaron Westlake scored from third on a double-play ground ball in the fourth. They broke it open with five runs in the fifth – all with two outs as Westlake, Jason Esposito and Andrew Giobbi all had RBI singles.
Westlake was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
The sophomore first baseman also had a three-run home run earlier in the day when Vanderbilt defeated Illinois State 10-4 in an elimination contest. Westlake’s team-leading 14th home run was part of a five-run eighth inning. The Commodores led 5-0 early, but Illinois State cut the lead to one, 5-4, before the eighth.
Giobbi and Esposito each had two hits and two RBIs in the victory over Louisville, the seventh overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
This is the second straight year Vanderbilt and Louisville have met in this situation. In 2009, the Commodores avoided elimination with an 8-4 victory, but Louisville advanced to the Super Regional with a 5-3 victory in the decisive contest.
"It is who wants it more," Esposito said. "Both teams are going to come out and swing the bats, both teams are going to pitch and both teams are going to play defense. It is going to come down to who wants it more. The team with the most heart is going to win."
At Jim Patterson Stadium - Louisville, Ky.
(all times CDT)
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 vs. Louisville, 5 p.m.