Baseball: Vanderbilt 7, USC 2

Vanderbilt improved to 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament with a 7-2 win over South Carolina Thursday night at Regions Park.

The Commodores took an early lead scoring two runs in the first and led 3-1 after three innings. However, the top-ranked Gamecocks cut the lead to one in the fourth inning and put runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Vanderbilt bullpen kept South Carolina off the scoreboard and the Dores' offense rewarded the team's pitchers in the ninth with a four-run rally to blow the game open.

Anthony Gomez's leadoff single and Aaron Westlake's pop-up, bunt single put runners on first and third base with no outs before Mike Yastrzemski drove in Gomez with a safety squeeze. One batter later, Jason Esposito executed a hit-and-run to drive in Westlake. Conrad Gregor's sacrifice bunt scored the third run of the rally and Riley Reynolds capped the inning with a single to left field scoring Esposito.

Eight of the nine Commodores in the lineup had at least one hit in the win led by Gregor, who had two hits and two RBI. Westlake, Esposito and Reynolds all added two hits apiece for the Dores. Christian Walker paced the Gamecocks with three hits.

Vandy starter Sonny Gray earned the win working 6.1 strong innings. The right-hander struck out seven and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits for his 10th win of the year. Navery Moore notched his 10th save of the year working 1.1 innings. Corey Williams and Will Clinard each recorded two huge outs to preserve the Dores' lead in the seventh and eighth. South Carolina starter Forrest Koumas was pinned with the loss allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits over 4.1 innings.

The Commodores earned Friday off with the win and await the winner of the Arkansas-Alabama game, which will be played tomorrow afternoon. Vanderbilt returns to action on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.
            1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R  H E
VANDERBILT  2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 - 7 12 1
S. CAROLINA 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 2  7 1
Boxscore:

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