Kentucky's Spencer Graeter delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift Kentucky past Vanderbilt 6-5 Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Cats secured only their third Southeastern Conference series of the year with the victory, taking back-to-back games from the Commodores after falling Friday night in the series opener.
Errors proved costly for Vanderbilt for the second day in a row. With two outs in the 10th, UK's Joe Naill popped up to second baseman Zach Simpson, who dropped the ball for the Commodores' (24-25, 11-16 SEC) third error of the game. The miscue set up Graeter's game-winning RBI, a ball that dropped in shallow right field. Naill rounded the bases and slid home safely to score all the way from first base, securing the 6-5 victory.
Scott Wade (3-6) picked up the win for the Wildcats, while Vandy's Jensen Lewis was charged with the loss.
The Cats opened the scoring with three runs on as many hits in the second. Caleb Brock extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a chopper to left field, and advanced to third on two wild pitches from Vandy starter Ryan Mullins. Back-to-back singles from Russ Rutherford and Naill brought in Brock, and Graeter followed with a shot that was bobbled by Matt Zeller to score the base runners and give UK an early 3-0 advantage.
Vandy pulled ahead in the sixth, as Jonathan Douillard delivered a bases-clearing triple to tie the game at 3-3. With two on and two out, the Commodores added two more when UK pitcher Seth Stanley tried to pick Ryan Klosterman off second base. The throw was off target, going into the outfield and scoring the two go-ahead runs for a 5-3 Vanderbilt lead.
Russ Rutherford made the most of his final home game, going 2-for-5 at the plate with three RBI. One of those hits came in the bottom of the sixth. After Brad Pickrell led off the inning with a standup double, Rutherford launched his second home run of the season, a two-run slam over the left field wall to knot the game at 5-5.
UK had a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth. With the two outs and a full count, Caleb Brock was issued a walk to juice the bases. Pickrell thought he was knicked by Jensen Lewis' first pitch, but the home plate umpire ruled what would have brought in the winning run a ball, and Lewis got Pickrell to pop up.