Senior 1B Zak Wasserman
April 23, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In a matchup of top 15 teams, the road squad got the better of it as third-ranked Vanderbilt earned a 10-2 win over the No. 11 Louisville baseball team in the annual "Battle of the Barrel" on Tuesday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With their third straight loss, the longest losing skid of the season, the host Cardinals dropped to 30-10 overall, while the Commodores improved to 36-6 on the season. Vanderbilt has won five straight overall in the series, which dates back to 1971. The eight-run margin also marked the worst loss of the season for the Cardinals.
The Commodores struck early in Tuesday's nationally televised contest on CBS Sports Network plating an unearned run in the first on a one-out RBI groundball off the bat of outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. Outfielder Tony Kemp, who singled to right to open the game and movede to third on a groundout, scored on the groundball by Yastrzemski off Louisville lefty starter Kyle McGrath (Louisville, Ky./Eastern Kentucky).
Vanderbilt added to its lead in the third inning on another RBI groundball by Yastrzemski to plate Kemp for the 2-0 edge. Kemp led off the inning with a single before stealing second. He later moved to third on a groundball to the right side by third baseman Xavier Turner before scoring on the Yastrzemski grounder.
Following a scoreless fourth inning, Louisville cut the deficit in half at 2-1 when senior first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) delivered the first of his two RBI singles on the night plating Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy) in the fifth. Gardner led off the inning with a double to right field against Vanderbilt starter Walker Beuhler before scoring the first of his two runs on the night.
The Commodores answered with a four-spot in the sixth to gain firm command of Tuesday's game. The scoring started with designated hitter Zander Wiel sending a 2-0 pitch from Louisville lefty reliever Cody Ege (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) down the left field line and over the wall for a two-run home run. Later in the inning, shortstop Vince Conde chipped in with an RBI double and Turner added a RBI single for the 6-1 advantage.
The Cardinals cut into the lead in the seventh with another RBI single by Wasserman, again scoring Gardner to trim the deficit to 6-2. However, that was as close as Louisville would get as Vanderbilt added a run in the eighth on a RBI single by Yastrzemski and three more in the ninth on a three-run homer to left field by Conde, his sixth of the season.
McGrath suffered his first loss as a Cardinal and dropped to 5-1 on the season after allowing two runs, though just one earned, on three hits with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. For Vanderbilt, Buehler allowed one run on four hits in 5.1 innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1 overall.
At the plate, Wasserman was 2-for-3 with RBI and Gardner was 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored as Louisville was out-hit 14-6. Conde led the Commodores going 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs, while Kemp was 3-for-4 with three runs scored in the win.
Up next, Louisville returns to BIG EAST Conference action and continues its five-game homestand with a weekend visit from Georgetown starting Friday at 6 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium. The series will continue on Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m., and admission is free for all three games.