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February 24, 2006Kyle Landis balked in Matt Meingasner from third base with two outs in the twelfth inning, giving Vandy a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh in Nashville on Friday evening.
Meingasner led off the 12th with a walk, took second on a balk, and took third when David Macias sacrificed Meingasner to third. Rucker Taylor popped to short for the second out, but the Commodores were bailed out when, on the second pitch of an attempted intentional walk to first baseman Ryan Flaherty, Landis failed to come to a stop before delivering the pitch.
"It was the exact same play that happened in the Super Regional (last year) between Long Beach State and Arizona State when the pitcher, even though it was an intentional walk, did not come to a full stop," explained Vandy Coach Tim Corbin. "He's got to come set - irregardless of the situation, he's got to come set and stop.
"We'll take it because it's a win, and we deserve it from a pitching standpoint obviously. You can't take anything away from those guys on the mound, and we played good-enough defense, but our pitchers earned that victory tonight."
Both teams wasted the few early scoring opportunities they had. After being dominated through five innings by David Price, Pitt finally broke through in the sixth with a run. Jimmy Mayer lined a double to left center under Kurt Lipton's glove, and then scored when All-American candidate Jim Neygrych lined a double over Macias's head in center.
The Panthers threatened again when, with two on and two out, Morgan Kielty hit a screaming liner to left. But Lipton made a tremendous diving catch just before the ball hit the grass in left to save two runs and end the inning.
Pitt also threatened in the seventh against reliever Tyler Rhoden when Rhoden walked leadoff hitter Dan Williams. But catcher Jeff Stevens hit into a force at second, and then de la Osa started a 6-4-3 double play off a David Cline grounder to end the threat.
Vandy finally tied the game in the eighth off closer Justin Cicatello. The sidearming righty gave up a controversial infield single to David Macias on a closely-contested play at first. Rucker Taylor then grounded out, but Ryan Flaherty hit a rope on a two-out, 1-0 pitch to right that froze right fielder Peter Parise. The ball went over Parise's head and to the wall, scoring Macias from second.
On a night in which the Commodores got just four hits, a stellar relief effort kept the game close. Tyler Rhoden, Steven Shao, and Ty Davis combined for six scoreless innings in relief of Price.
Vandy plays Kent State at 2 PM on Saturday. Cody Crowell will pitch for Vandy and normal two-starter Matt Buschmann will face Kansas on Sunday.