Catcher Spencer Navin gave the Commodores (30-25) a lead when his two-run single in the third inning to erase an early deficit. Anthony Gomez and Tony Kemp chased in runs later to extend the lead and that was plenty for the two-man tag-team pitching effort delivered by Drew VerHagen and Brian Miller.
Vandy advances to face East Division champion South Carolina (39-15) in a second-round game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
The star of the night for the Dores was Miller.
After VerHagen surrendered a leadoff single in the Georgia sixth inning, Miller came in to face the heart of the Bulldogs' batting order and snuffed out any chance of momentum when he coaxed Hunter Cole into a popup to first base and ended the inning by getting Levi Hyams on a fly ball to center.
That set the tone for a career-high 3.2-inning stint when Miller allowed only one hit and struck out three. Georgia (31-25) was 1-for-12 vs. the Vandy freshman.
"Coming in after Drew VerHagen is sort of easy because he has great stuff," Miller said after logging his fifth save. "My fast ball was locating well, and I had pretty good movement on my slider."
It took Vanderbilt's offense a while to get untracked, with Kemp's leadoff single in the first the only hit the Commodores scratched out in the first 2.2 frames off big Bulldog left-hander Alex Wood.
Wood left the Dores an opening when he plunked Mike Yastrzemski to put a runner on with two outs in the third inning. Gomez's hot shot banged off Woods's glove for an infield single and Conrad Gregor worked his way on for a full-count walk that loaded the bases.
Navin worked Wood to a full count as well before spanking a base hit through the middle to put Vandy in front.
The fifth inning began the same way for Wood when he hit Kemp with a pitch. But the Bulldog pitcher pounced on Yastrzemski's bunt and threw Kemp out at second base. Yastrzemski made amends when he swiped second base and then raced home when Gomez singled through the box.
The Commodores manufactured their final run in the sixth inning as well with a walk, a passed ball, a roller to first base and Kemp's clutch two-out hit getting the job done.
"They got the big hits when it counted," Hyams said. "They took advantage of their opportunities, and we didn't. We got some runners on, and I feel like we were on VerHagen, but that rubber arm guy (Miller), he's pretty good. All of his stuff had sink, and he got a lot of us out. Tip your hat to him, but they took advantage of opportunities, and we just didn't. That's what it boils down to."
The Commodores won their season-high sixth game in a row and upped their record to 7-1 against Georgia in SEC Tournament play.
VerHagen notched his sixth victory with his 5.1 innings.
Now the Commodores take aim at South Carolina, which took two of three from Vanderbilt in the third week of the SEC season.
T.J. Pecoraro (1-4, 3.57 ERA) will get the ball for the Dores and comes in hot, with back-to-back complete games – including a 3-0 shutout against Ole Miss last Thursday. The Gamecocks will counter with freshman southpaw Jordan Montgomery, who is 4-1 with a 4.42 ERA in 55 innings with 40 strikeouts and only six walks.
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