By Arnie Leshin
Second-ranked Vanderbilt was powered by the long-ball hitting of lead-off batter Angelo Martin in getting past 7th ranked Louisville, 4-1, at Sunday’s opening round game of the 74th annual NCAA Division I Baseball World Series in Omaha, Neb.
It might have been only the first round, but TD Ameritrade Park was suffered with a crowd of 24,327.
Martin led off with a solo home run into the seats in left off of Cardinal starter Ralph Detmen. After Louisville picked up its first hit off Vanderbilt starter Brandon Fellow in the fourth inning on a single to center by Jason Snider, but it remained 1-0 Commodores.
But in the fifth, Louisville put together a hit parade, but should have scored more. James Lavey led with a double to left-center, and came around to tie the score on Howard Davis’ single up the middle. But after Lance Dunn’s 2-out single to center, Fellow shut the door after his 98th pitch.
So it was all even at 1-1 when Martin came to bat with two-on and parked a
line drive 337 feet over the wall in left. Fellow gave way to relievers Dan King and Tom Brown. He left by allowing seven hits and striking out seven to bring his season record to 13-1. Brown went 1.2/3 innings and struck out one.
Detmen worked 5.2 innings, was reached for three hits, struck out five and threw 102 pitches. Bill Hoening and Ken Kirian finished up, but the there wasn’t any more runs crossing the plate after they worked the 3-run seventh. The two did strike out two each, with the loss going to Hoening.
Louisville had eight hits, Vanderbilt six. It was errorless ball played by the schools.
Next stop for the Commodores, now 55-11, is against the winner of game 2 winner, unranked Auburn or 4th seeded Mississippi State. The Cardinals fell into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination series and will play the loser of that game.
Also at 1-0 are unranked Florida State (42-21) and Michigan (47-20) and they will meet up Monday in game 2 that follows the contest pairing 67thranked Texas Tech (44-19) versus 5th ranked Arkansas (46-19), both 0-1 and playing to survive.