Tops USC to Claim Series
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
NASHVILLE - Ninth-ranked Vanderbilt turned the tables on
fourth-ranked South Carolina by pounding a trio of Gamecocks
pitchers for 10 runs to back redshirt freshman Caleb Cotham's
nine-strikeout effort in his first SEC start. The Commodores'
10-4 win Sunday marked the fourth season in a row that they have
won the season series between the two rivals.
Less than 24 hours after playing almost perfect baseball against
the Dores, the Gamecocks had a four-error day to go with four
hit batsmen after coming into the weekend leading the SEC in
(3-0) (left, photo by Jimmy Jones) was outstanding for the home
team, allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits in 5.2
innings with nine strikeouts and two walks.
The two teams exchanged runs on wild pitches in the first inning
before the offenses shut down. In the fourth, USC (1-2 SEC,
11-5) mounted a scoring threat when James Darnell doubled and
Harley Lail was hit by a pitch, before Andrew Crisp bunted them
up. Cotham then struck out Phil Disher and Scott Wingo to end
the inning and strand the runners in scoring position.
"Caleb did a nice job," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "I
thought he was aggressive. He got himself out of trouble in the
fourth inning [and] that was huge. He got those two strikeouts,
which I thought was the turning point in the ball game."
Countered Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner: "We had a chance to go up
there and put some pressure on them but we struck out twice to
end the inning. That could have been a turning point in that
Shea Robin put the Commodores (2-1, 12-4) ahead in the fourth
with a RBI single, and Brian Harris followed suit with two-run
single. Vandy tacked on another run on an error by Gamecocks
centerfielder Whit Merrifield to take a 5-1 lead.
Ryan Flaherty added a RBI single in the fifth after an Alex
Feinberg leadoff double for the Commodores. Crisp's RBI single
in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.
Hot-hitting sophomore Andrew Giobbi then removed any doubt about
the game's outcome with a towering grand slam over the
Gamecocks first baseman Justin Smoak belted his fourth homer off
Vanderbilt reliever Brett Jacobson in the ninth to close out the
Flaherty and Giobbi led VU with two hits, while Darnell led
South Carolina with three and seven in the series.
"They just completely outplayed us today," Tanner said. "We did
not play well enough to win with four errors and punched out
double digit times."