Vanderbilt Beats Alabama Again
Vanderbilt (29-3, 9-2 SEC) starter Grayson Garvin scattered four hits over 7.1 innings while striking out seven en route to his sixth win of the season. Garvin improved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in SEC play. Alabama (21-12, 7-4 SEC) starting pitcher Adam Morgan (4-2, 2-1 SEC) took the loss, throwing six innings allowing five runs – four earned – on nine hits with four strikeouts.
"For the second day in a row we got out-played in every area," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "They were able to get out to a quick start and had dominant pitching. Offensively, we never put an inning together and never put good at-bats together, and they were able to extend the lead. We've been out played through two games. We need to regroup and try to salvage a game tomorrow."
Will Clinard and Kevin Ziomek combined to throw the final 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to complete the shutout of the Tide.
Vanderbilt wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard, as Jason Esposito's infield single scored Anthony Gomez from third. The Commodores extended their lead to 2-0 in the second inning, when an infield single by Connor Harrell plated Curt Casali who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After loading the bases with no one out in the third, Vandy scored three more times to open a 5-0 lead after three innings.
After allowing five runs on eight hits through his first three innings, Morgan settled down to allow one hit in his final three innings to keep the game within reach.
"With Morgan getting through six innings it gives up the ability to have Wolfe, Pilkington and Smart all available, and give us the best opportunity tomorrow," Gaspard added. "The problem is, they haven't had to use their guns in the bullpen either. Going into the Sunday game, we feel we have our best bullpen guys, but they will as well since we haven't been able to do much offensively."
Alabama's best opportunity to get on the board came in the fourth inning. Jared Reaves doubled to open the inning and Austen Smith followed with a walk. With one out Reaves stole third, but with runners on the corners Andrew Miller grounded into a double play to end the threat.
A one-out single by pinch-hitter Conrad Gregor in the eighth inning off UA reliever Brett Whitaker increased the VU lead to 6-0, and a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Sam Lind plated the final run of the game for a 7-0 Commodores victory. Whitaker threw 2.0 innings in relief of Morgan, allowing one run on two hits with a walk.
No. 19 Alabama and No. 1 Vanderbilt will complete the three-game SEC series on Sunday with game three beginning at 1 p.m. CT from Hawkins Field. The Tide will start sophomore left-hander Taylor Wolfe (1-2, 3.86 ERA) and the top-ranked Commodores will counter with senior righty Taylor Hill (2-0, 2.84 ERA).
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