Vanderbilt Advances to Championship Game

Aaron Westlake congratulated(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

HOOVER-- If someone would have predicted this a week ago they would have likely been called crazy, however, baseball is sometimes wacky. Vanderbilt pounded Arkansas, 11-1, today to advance to the championship of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. NOTE: Sunday's start time has been changed from 3 p.m to noon because of expected foul weather.

Vanderbilt bolted out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning and went on to get 15 hits as every Commmodore starter finished with a hit.

Meanwhile, Caleb Cotham, playing injured, shut down the Razorbacks by striking out seven in seven innings of work. Vanderbilt finished off the Razorbacks by adding three runs in the fifth and two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. The game was mercifully called after the seventh inning due to the SEC's 10-run rule for the tournament.

Vanderbilt got three hits from Aaron Westlake and two hits each from Brian Harris, Steven Liddle, Curt Casali, and Jason Esposito.

After the game, Commodore head coach Tim Corbin discussed Cotham's performance, "First and foremost, it was a very clutch pitching performance by Caleb Cotham. He was a kid that was injured, and we used him in small doses. Last night when we approached him about the start, he gave us all the right answers. He pitched very, very well, and I am proud of him. I am proud of the way he came back. He gets a complete game out of it. We did a nice job, and played defense again, which has been our go-to thing in this tournament. Offensively, the bats picked up today, and we put ourselves in a good position."

Vanderbilt (34-24) will now play the surviver of LSU-Georgia. Georgia only needs to beat LSU once but LSU must beat Georgia twice to advance. As of 2:20 CST on Saturday, LSU led Georgia 7-0 in the top of the first but that game was in an extended delay because of hard rainfall in the Birmingham area.

Vanderbilt is scheduled to play for the championship at noon on Sunday. It will not be televised live. The game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net on a tape-delayed basis starting at 3 p.m. These changes were made due to thunderstorms expected in the Birmingham area tomorrow afternoon.

Arkansas    000 001 0 - 150 
Vanderbilt  000 432 2 - 11(15)0 



Vanderbilt's Caleb Cotham (27) throws during the 4th inning against Arkansas in their Southeastern Conference 2009 baseball tournament (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

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