June 6, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Vanderbilt overcame an error-filled first inning and regained its composure to record a 7-3 victory over top-seeded Virginia in a decisive Game 6 contest in the Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. Both teams traded three-run sides in the first inning before the Commodores posted four runs in the final eight innings to claim a four-run victory to win the Regional. Vanderbilt (45-17) will move on to face Texas in the NCAA Super Regionals on June 11-13, while Virginia (44-15) put the wraps on one of the most successful seasons in school history as it was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
"I thought the first inning was very, very emotional for both teams," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "I brought the team in after we had the little train wreck and just tried to settled everyone down. Once we settled down, particularly Matt (Buschmann), I thought we did a great job of regrouping."
Vanderbilt jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning after a pair of RBI-doubles by Warner Jones and Aaron Garza. Jones drove in Ryan Klosterman, who singled to left field to reach base to start off the game, with a RBI-double down the left field line to make it 1-0 before Garza connected on a two-run double to a gap in right-center field to score Jones and Cesar Nicholas who walked to reach base.
Virginia came right back and scored three unearned runs on just one hit and made the Commodores pay for three costly errors. Three consecutive Cavaliers (Matt Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Koshansky) scored a run to tie the game at 3-3. Dunn and Koshansky each scored a run on Vanderbilt fielding errors while Zimmerman scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Matt Street.
But the Commodores answered back with a run in the top of the second inning to regain the lead at 4-3 when three consecutive Vanderbilt batters singled, with the third hit resulting in a RBI-single to left-center field by Jones to drive in Klosterman. Jones' hit proved to be the game-winner.
Vanderbilt extended its lead to 5-3 in the top of the fourth inning when Jonathan Douillard led-off the side with a single to left field before he scored a run four batters later on a RBI-single to left field by Nicholas.
The Commodores stretched their lead to 6-3 in the top of the seventh inning when Nicholas doubled to left field to lead-off the side before he came around to score a run two batters later on a RBI, sacrifice fly ball to center field by Garza. Vanderbilt added another run in the top of the eighth inning and made it a 7-3 ballgame when Worth Scott dropped a shallow double into center field and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to center field by Klosterman to give the Commodores a four-run lead. That would be enough scoring for Vanderbilt as it closed out the game to secure the four-run victory.
"In a game like this where a team is fighting to stay in, when you get a run here and there late in the game it really helps," said Corbin.
UVa starting pitcher Chris Gale lasted just 1.0 inning before being replaced by Scott Morgenthaler (1-1) who took the loss after going 2.2 innings. Morgenthaler allowed two runs on seven hits in the loss.
Vanderbilt starting pitcher Matt Bushmann (8-1) picked up the win after tossing 6.2 innings. He allowed three runs, all unearned, on five hits and struck out four batters in the victory.
"The players have captured this community and that is a big part of building a national, powerful baseball program," said Virginia head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "This community has rallied around this team, and I am excited for the future."
With the victory, Vanderbilt's record improves to 45-17 overall. The Commodores finished 3-0 in the NCAA Regional. The loss drops Virginia's record to 44-15 overall. The Cavaliers went 2-2 in the Charlottesville Regional.
2004 Charlottesville Regional All-Tournament Team
Position Player School
Catcher Scott Headd Virginia
First Base Joe Koshansky Virginia
Second Base Warner Jones Vanderbilt
Shortstop Ryan Klosterman Vanderbilt
Third Base Ryan Zimmerman Virginia
Outfield Worth Scott Vanderbilt
Outfield Aaron Garza Vanderbilt
Outfield Tim Henry Virginia
Outfield Antoan Richardson Vanderbilt
Designated Hitter Cesar Nicolas Vanderbilt
Pitcher Matt Avery Virginia
Pitcher Jeremy Sowers Vanderbilt
Most Outstanding Player - Cesar Nicolas, Vanderbilt
-- NCAA --