Record Overall: 3-0; Record for the Week: 3-0
2/19: Vanderbilt 9, Niagara 0
2/20: Vanderbilt 16, Niagara 2
2/21: Vanderbilt 21, Niagara 3
2/23: vs. Austin Peay, 4 p.m., Hawkins Field
2/26: at UCLA, 8 p.m., Los Angeles
2/27: at USC, 8:30 p.m., Los Angeles
2/28: vs. Oklahoma St., Noon, Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium)
Vanderbilt opened the 2010 season with a convincing three-game series sweep over Niagara. VU outscored the Purple Eagles 46-5 on the weekend with 17 doubles, two homers, 23 walks, 11 hit batters and eight stolen bases in eight attempts.
Sophomore right-hander Sonny Gray set the tone for the pitching staff throwing eight innings of three-hit baseball in Friday’s 9-0 win. He struck out eight, walked just one, and didn’t allow a base runner to advance to second base until the eighth inning. His outing was the longest in the SEC on opening weekend. Dating back to last season, Gray hasn’t allowed a run in his last 17.2 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts and just two walks.
Junior righthander Taylor Hill continued the trend on Saturday, throwing 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball with a career high nine strikeouts. VU’s season opening scoreless streak ended at 16.1 innings when Drew Hayes gave up a two-run homer with one out in the seventh.
Jack Armstrong picked up his first collegiate win in his longest outing in a Commodore uniform on Sunday. He gave up three first inning runs, then held Niagara scoreless for four innings in a 21-3 victory.
Will Clinard, Corey Williams, Joe Loftus and Sam Selman each made their first collegiate appearances on the mound and threw a scoreless inning apiece … Russell Brewer and Richie Goodenow each threw an inning of scoreless relief as well, with Goodenow striking out the side.
As a staff, VU posted a 1.67 ERA with 30 strikeouts and eight walks allowed in 27.0 innings.
The top offensive performer was sophomore third baseman Jason Esposito who went 7-for-14 with three doubles, a homer, seven RBI and six runs scored … Freshmen Connor Harrell and Regan Flaherty made the most of their opportunities hitting .571 and .600 respectively. Harrell was 4-for-7 with two walks, two hit by pitches, .727 on base percentage and five runs scored. Flaherty, younger brother of former Commodore All-American Ryan, went 3-for-5 with three doubles and six RBI.
Aaron Westlake (6-for-12), Curt Casali (5-for-10) and Brian Harris (3-for-6) each hit .500 on the weekend. Harris got on base 11 times, three via hit, five walks and three hit by pitches (.786 on base percentage) … Freshman outfielder Mike Yastrzemski was 3-for-10 with five runs scored and also made several defensive nice defensive plays as the starter in center.
The 24 hits on Sunday were the most in the Tim Corbin regime (2003-). 30 hits is the school record set in 1988 … Defensively, the team had just one mistake all weekend (on a wild throw by pitcher Jack Armstrong on a bunt attempt) and finished with a .991 fielding percentage
Vanderbilt hosts local foe Austin Peay on Tuesday and then makes its lone non-conference road trip of the season this weekend to the West Coast. VU will face UCLA and USC at their home parks, before taking on Oklahoma State on Sunday at Dodger Stadium as part of the Dodgertown Classic.