Baseball: Vanderbilt 8 Memphis 0

JACKSON- Vanderbilt combined a dominating performance by sophomore hurler Drew Hayes and a potent offense featuring four homers, two by Pedro Alvarez, to defeat Memphis 8-0 Tuesday night at Pringles Park.

The Commodores won their fourth straight to improve to 35-13, while the Tigers fell to 16-32.

Hayes, making his return to the Jackson area after attending McKenzie High and going to Bethel College his freshman year, held the Tigers to just two hits while striking out a career high 12 batters with just one walk in a career high seven innings of action.

"It was pretty dominating for him," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin on Hayes outing. "I was really happy to see it. I thought his pace was really good. He threw a lot of strikes. He was working both sides of the plate and throwing his breaking ball for strikes. It just shows how far he's come this past year. We got a great outing out of him."

Hayes' 12 strikeouts also tied the single game high this season set previously by Mike Minor and Nick Christiani.

"Everything leading up to it and going into the game was really exciting," said Hayes. Once I got on the mound, it was just like any other game. It's just like pitching at Hawkins Field. Just go out there and make pitches and do everything you do at home. Enjoy it before and after the game, but once you get on the mound, you have to pitch like any other game."

Pedro Alvarez blasted two homers on the night, the first a two-run opposite field shot in the third inning to give VU an early 2-0 lead.

Shea Robin added a RBI double in the fourth and Brad French belted a two-run homer to left, his first of the year, to make it 5-0.

Alvarez hit his second homer of the game, fifth of the season, over the scoreboard in right field to push the lead to 6-0. The homer was estimated to have gone 430 feet. It was his 45th career homer putting him all alone in third place on the school's all-time list.

"I just think it's a matter of time for him," said Corbin on Alvarez who last homered on April 13 at Mississippi State. "What we were seeing is 75 percent of the hitter he really is. We just need to give him time. Sooner or later, he's going to break out. This was one of the nights were he hit the ball well. I thought his swings on Sunday were pretty good against Tennessee. I think that kind of led in to what happened tonight."

Dominic de la Osa also got into the homer party with his seventh round-tripper of the year, a solo shot in the seventh, to make it 7-0. It was his 43rd career homer, tying him with Glenn Davis (1995-97) for fourth on the school list.

VU closed out the scoring with an unearned run in the eighth to make it 8-0.

Jason Cunningham threw a scoreless seventh and Mark Lamm came on in the ninth with a scoreless inning to preserve the shutout.

Alvarez ended the night with three hits and three RBI, while Shea Robin added two hits to lead VU.

Memphis starter Brennon Martin (4-3) was tagged for the loss after giving up five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in four innings of work.

The Commodores will return to Nashville to play its final four regular season games at Hawkins Field starting with Tennessee Tech tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Freshman right-hander Taylor Hill (4-2, 4.54) will take the mound for Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt 002 310 110- 8(10)0
Memphis    000 000 000- 032            
 
Hayes and Robin. Martin, Holland and Kirkland. W- Hayes 2-0, L- Martin 4-3. Sv- None. HR: VU: Alvarez 2 (5), French (1), de la Osa (7) UM: None