LOUISVILLE – Solo home runs by Aaron Westlake and Joe Loftus were not enough for Vanderbilt to overcome Louisville’s lone home run – a three-run shot in the fourth – and the Commodores lost 5-3 in the decisive game of the NCAA regional tournament on Monday.
Mike Minor started for Vanderbilt and held the Cardinals scoreless through three innings. He struck out two of the first three batters he faced in the fourth, but then following a balk, a walk and a wild pitch he gave up a three-run home run to right fielder Ryan Wright.
Russell Brewer replaced Minor following the home run. In his only appearance of the regional, Brewer allowed one run on two hits in three innings. He struck out three.
Sonny Gray struck out three in the final 1.2 innings.
Westlake’s leadoff home run gave the Commodores a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Loftus got them within one, 3-2, when he sent one deep with two outs in the fifth.
Vanderbilt had just five other hits, including three – two doubles and a single – by Jonathan White. It also committed three errors, which was two more than in the previous four games combined.
Curt Casali’s RBI single drove in White in the eighth and made it 5-3. Westlake followed and grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the Commodores did not get a man on base in the ninth.
Game 1: 3 Middle Tennessee State 5, Vanderbilt 4
Game 2: Louisville 8, Indiana 2.
Game 3: Vanderbilt 10, Indiana 0 (Indiana eliminated)
Game 4: Middle Tennessee State vs. Louisville, 6 p.m.
Game 5: Vanderbilt 6, Middle Tennessee 0 (MTSU eliminated)
Game 6: Vanderbilt 8, Louisville 4
Game 7: Louisville 5, Vanderbilt 3 (Vanderbilt eliminated)