June 4, 2006
ATLANTA – David Macias had three hits and Pedro Alvarez hit his school-record 21st home run of the year to lead second-seeded Vanderbilt (38-26) to a 5-4 win over third-seeded Michigan (43-21) on Sunday at the NCAA Atlanta Regional. Vanderbilt advanced to the regional championship game later Sunday against top-seeded Georgia Tech, while Michigan is eliminated.
Macias went 3-for-4, while Alvarez led five Commodores with two hits each.
Vanderbilt reliever Nick Christiani (3-4) earned the win after working 1.2 scoreless innings. Casey Weathers picked up his third save of the year after holding the Wolverines to one unearned run over the final two innings.
Michigan starter Chris Fetter (5-2) took the loss, allowing four runs on 11 hits in 6.1 innings.
Jeff Kunkel led Michigan with three hits in five at bats.
VU’s Brad French led off the top of the third inning with a double down the left field line, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch. Alvarez followed with a home run to right-center field, his school record 21st of the season, to give the Commodores a 2-0 lead.
Michigan erupted for three runs in the sixth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Nate Recknagel led off the inning with a solo shot to left field, his eighth of the year. After Kunkel’s single, Doug Pickens scored a two-run homer, his seventh of the season, to give Michigan the lead.
Vanderbilt immediately answered with two runs in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. Leadoff hitter Alex Feinberg doubled, then scored from second base on a wild pitch after Kunkel, the catcher, chased the ball into the third base dugout. The Commodores then loaded the bases on a double, an intentional walk and another wild pitch, with Macias scoring on a sacrifice fly from Brian Hernandez.
Vanderbilt added an insurance run in its half of the eighth when Ryan Davis blasted a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to right center.
Michigan cut its deficit to one run in the bottom of the eighth. Following singles by Derek VanBuskirk and A.J. Scheidt, VanBuskirk scored from second when Commodore second baseman Feinberg threw the ball away while attempting a double play.
Michigan’s Recknagel hit a one-out double in the ninth to put the tying run in scoring position, but Weathers retired the next two hitters on popouts to end the game.
Vanderbilt starter Ty Davis allowed three runs in 5.1 innings and struck out six, but did not figure in the decision.