Dawg fall at Vandy

NASHVILLE - Senior Dominic de la Osa's two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh sparked 16th-ranked Vanderbilt to a 13-7 win over eighth-ranked Georgia in front of 3,200 Friday at Hawkins Field.

With the victory, the Commodores (37-13 overall, 15-9 SEC) picked up a game on the Bulldogs in the race for the SEC title. The Bulldogs (31-17-1 overall, 17-7-1 SEC) now hold a two-game lead over the Commodores who have won six in a row and 18 of their past 21 contests. de la Osa and leadoff hitter David Macias combined for eight RBI on five hits to pace the Commodores 15-hit attack.

Georgia pushed across a run in the second as sophomore first baseman Rich Poythress (career-best 4-for-5) led off with a single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore catcher Joey Lewis (1-for-3, HR, 4 RBI). However, the Commodores responded with a five-spot in their half of the frame. They loaded the bases with one out as Macias' two-run double gave Vanderbilt the lead. de la Osa made it 4-1 with a two-run triple, and he would score on a groundout by Pedro Alvarez to cap the outburst off Bulldog junior Trevor Holder. It was the most runs he had surrendered since his second start of the year when Oregon State collected five runs off him in the Beavers 6-4 win in Portland on Feb. 29.

In the fifth, Lewis smashed his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot that brought Georgia back within two at 5-3. Lyle Allen (career-high 4-for-5) led off with his second hit of the night and Lewis followed with a home run off sophomore left-hander Mike Minor. The Bulldogs tried to rally for more after two were out in the inning. Seniors Ryan Peisel and Matt Olson reached on singles and then Minor got junior shortstop Gordon Beckham to fly out on a 2-2 offering. The Bulldogs threatened again in the sixth, putting two on with one out including Allen notching his third hit of the night. At that point, Vanderbilt lifted Minor in favor of right-hander Chase Reid. He came on and struck out Lewis and got Matt Cerione to fly out to keep Vanderbilt in front 5-3. Minor gave the Commodores 5.1 innings, scattering three runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

In the sixth, the Commodores got a two-out, run-scoring single from Steve Liddle to stretch their lead to 6-3. Georgia roared back to take a 7-6 lead with four runs on five hits in the seventh. Allen notched his career-best fourth hit of the night, a go-ahead run-scoring single to cap the rally. Earlier in the frame, Beckham came through with a two-run single and Poythress' run-scoring single tied the contest. However, Vanderbilt responded again with four runs in their half of the frame to reclaim a 10-7 lead and chase Holder. The Bulldog right-hander surrendered 10 runs on 12 hits with in six innings. In the eighth, Macias launched a two-run home run off sophomore Justin Earls for a 12-7 lead. Pedro Alvarez's run-scoring single extended the margin to 13-7.

"It happened so quick tonight that we didn't have anybody ready but at the same time Trevor (Holder) was only at 80 pitches and this time of year, we'd like to stretch our starters to at least 100 pitches," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We thought he had enough left in the tank but looking back now he didn't. Our relief pitching has been limping a bit lately, and so we want to lean on our starters more. We didn't have any two-out magic tonight and you have to credit Vanderbilt for some of that. They did a good job and came out with the victory.

Freshman Russell Brewer picked up the win for the Commodores, improving to 4-0 as he struck seven of the 10 Bulldogs he faced over the final 2.1 innings.

The series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. Georgia will start junior right-hander Stephen Dodson (5-2, 3.88 ERA) while the Commodores counter with redshirt freshman Caleb Cotham (7-3, 3.64 ERA).

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