Vandy's Jeremy Sowers Shuts Down Bulldogs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Junior lefty Jeremy Sowers held Mississippi State to two runs over 7-2/3 innings and Ryan Klosterman drove in three runs Friday night leading Vanderbilt to a series-opening 7-2 win over MSU at Hawkins Field. The win leaves the Bulldogs and Commodores tied for ninth place in the overall SEC standings.

Vandy (29-13, 8-11 SEC) broke a 1-1 deadlock in the fourth inning, plating three runs on four hits off MSU starter Alan Johnson (3-2). Klosterman, who singled and scored the Commodores' first run in the third, laced a two-run single off the glove of second baseman Jeffrey Rea. Antoan Richardson's bloop single to right plated the first Vandy run in the inning.

The Bulldogs had opportunities to get to Sowers early in the game. State opened the second inning with back-to-back hits by Craig Tatum and Brad Jones. But Sowers got Tyler Scarbrough to ground into a double play and retired Thomas Berkery on a groundout to shortstop.

Sowers registered the first two of his eight strikeouts when he retired the Bulldogs in order in the third before Steve Gendron knotted the score with his fourth home run of the season, a line drive shot over the left field fence. The hit was Gendron's 295th in four seasons at State, tying him with Burke Masters for third among MSU's career hits leaders.

Vandy answered Gendron's blast with three runs in the fourth and took command of the game an inning later by adding two runs on a walk, a double, a fielding error and an infield groundout. Cesar Nicolas and Tony Mansolino ripped cconsecutive doubles down the left field line in the inning.

Sowers stranded a pair of runners in the fifth and seventh before the Bulldogs struck for a run in the eighth. Brad Corley extended his SEC-leading hitting streak to 19 games with a one-out single to left. He moved to second on a balk by Sowers and scored on a Craig Tatum double to left. Sowers left the game after retiring the next batter, Brad Jones, on an infield groundout. Jensen Lewis replaced Sowers, walking a batter in the eighth and ninth innings in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Mississippi State got two hits each from Tatum and Jones, with Jones extending his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.

Johnson was charged with six runs (four earned) on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Freshman Andy Wilson pitched the final inning, reiring the first two batters he faced before giving up his first earned run of the year on a double by Richardson and Klosterman's third hit of the game.

The Bulldogs and the Commodores continue their SEC weekend series Saturday at 4 p.m., with MSU junior Todd Doolittle (2-1, 4.36) taking on Vandy left Ryan Mullins (4-2, 3.08).

MSU 000 100 010 --- 2-8-3
VU 001 320 01x --- 7-12-0
WP - Jeremy Sowers (7-3). LP - Alan Johnson (3-2). HR -Steve Gendron (4). T - 2:25. ATT - 1,013.

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