The Commodores needed to bounce back strong in game three against Georgia (16-25/3-13) as the Bulldogs had shut out Vanderbilt, 1-0 in game two. They did just that behind a good starting pitching performance from Chandler Day (6-1) and the Commodores offense producing 10 runs and 11 hits.
Vanderbilt (25-16/9-9) defeated Georgia 10-5 in game three and took the three game set from the Bulldogs in Athens. It was a good bounce back series win for Vanderbilt giving up a home series last weekend to Florida.
Head coach Tim Corbin made the decision to give the ball to Day and allow him to work through his first ever start against SEC competition on Saturday. After giving up a run in the 1st inning, Day would continue to battle through the Dawgs lineup giving up a one here and there but overall, he handled himself quite well. Day allowed Georgia to tie the game 3-3 in the 3rd inning but the Vanderbilt bats would back up him at the plate and the sophomore right hander would settle in to eventually throw his 1st scoreless inning in the 4th.
The Commodore hitters gave Day a head going into the 5th and that is where the sophomore's day would be done. Day pitched five innings in his 1st SEC start, giving up three earned runs on six hits while striking out two and walking nobody. It wasn't a mind blowing performance from Day but it was solid and a bridge that could see him starting on the weekend's from here on out.
While Vanderbilt received solid pitching from the mound, their hitters woke up and provided support from the plate. Every time Georgia would score or show signs of coming back, the Commodores would answer at the plate and do it in a variety of ways. Catcher Jason Delay and short-stop Connor Kaiser both had clutch hits early in the game to put Vanderbilt in the lead and having those two provide big hits, is a good sign going forward.
Georgia's pitching loaded the bases for Vanderbilt in the 5th and that inning would pretty close the deal for the Commodores. Outfielder Jeren Kendall walked with the bases loaded, which gave the Dores the lead. 1st baseman Julian Infante would extend the lead even further with his two run single to the outfield. That wasn't the last time Infante would come through with a big hit. Infante stretched the game even further in the 7th with his 2nd two run RBI hit to the outfield. The South Florida sophomore has been strong all year but has been really hot of late. He leads the team in batting average and with his performance in game three, Infante now leads Vanderbilt in runs batted in. He along with 3rd baseman Will Toffey have given the Commodores a great one-two punch in the middle of their lineup and two guys dependable at the plate.
Vanderbilt also received an insurance home run from Ethan Paul and that too is a good sign or the team. The sophomore has struggled at the plate this season and just recently returned from a broken jaw that kept him out of action for over two weeks. Since returning to action, Paul has been hot the plate but has struggled a little in the field. The more he is out there, the more comfortable he will begin to feel.
The Commodores will now take a small break during the mid-week before they welcome in the Tennessee Vols for a three game home series, beginning on Friday evening. The three man rotation of Raby, Wright and Day should be your starting pitchers against the Vols this weekend.