Sunday, April 5, 2009

All the right moves

by Barca Blog - With Vanderbilt on the verge of losing their fourth straight series to open SEC play, head coach Tim Corbin decided to roll the dice.

Down 9-2 in the sixth inning to No. 19 Florida, Corbin inserted Alex McClure into the lineup for the 'Dores leading hitter Aaron Westlake, and also substituted in Jonathan White for Alex Hilliard.

"I didn't care what the matchups were," Corbin remarked. "I just knew that the guy that sits next to me everyday that just punches me in the gut and says, 'Come on, come on, come on,' needed to get out there in the game."

The moves paid off. McClure and White each played a key role in the comeback as the Commodores scored 14 unanswered runs to defeat the Gators, 16-9, and take the critical series.

In his first plate appearance in the bottom of the sixth, McClure moved two runners into scoring position on a ground out to third, and Joe Loftus eventually knocked them in to start the rally. McClure also had a RBI single in the seventh and later scored, and walked and scored in the eight.

White grounded out to end the sixth, but responded with one of the biggest hits of the game in the seventh when he hit the first pitch fastball from Gators reliever Billy Bullock into center field to tie the contest at 9-9. White also got on by error in the eighth and scored on Brian Harris' three-run homer to put the game out of reach.

"I thought bringing Johnny White and Alex McClure into the game injected more energy into us," Corbin added. "That's what you want to do when you get put into the game and that was good for those two kids."

(photo by Steve Green)

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