Commodores come back to bite Bulldogs, 8-4

NASHVILLE-– Vanderbilt scored five unanswered runs, including four in the eighth, to defeat the No. 24 Georgia Bulldogs 8-4 Saturday in front of a standing-room only crowd at Hawkins Field. Senior catcher Jonathan Douillard hit the game-winning RBI in the eighth inning when his single over the shortstop scored senior right fielder Worth Scott to put the Commodores up 5-4.

NASHVILLE-– Vanderbilt scored five unanswered runs, including four in the eighth, to defeat the No. 24 Georgia Bulldogs 8-4 Saturday in front of a standing-room only crowd at Hawkins Field.

Senior catcher Jonathan Douillard hit the game-winning RBI in the eighth inning when his single over the shortstop scored senior right fielder Worth Scott to put the Commodores up 5-4.

"He's (Will Startup) a strike thrower and I knew he didn't want to go 3-0 on me," Douillard said. "He threw a fastball and I put good wood on the ball and drove it into center."

"It has been a monkey on my back (never beating Georgia in his VU career) and I have been playing with a chip on my shoulder when we play these guys," Douillard added. "It was nice to take one and then two and we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Sophomore right-hander Jensen Lewis earned his fourth win of the season going eight innings and giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits. He walked four and struck out four and remains perfect on the season with a 4-0 mark.

"He (Lewis) pitched a very good game last week at Ole Miss and pretty well tonight," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "He got out of a couple of jams early and I think that set the tone for the rest of the game."

Down 4-3, the Commodores tied the game in the seventh inning at 4-4 when sophomore second baseman Warner Jones scored on a ground out to the second baseman by sophomore designated hitter Mike Baxter. Jones reached base on a single to right field and advanced to second when senior first baseman Cesar Nicolas drew a walk. Both Jones and Nicolas advanced on a balk by Startup.

The Commodores added three insurance runs following the game winner in the eighth when junior shortstop Ryan Klosterman doubled to left field advancing Douillard to third. Junior centerfielder Antoan Richardson then laid a perfect bunt down the first base line on a squeeze play scoring Douillard and advancing Klosterman to third. Jones picked up his fourth hit of the game and scored when Nicolas's high fly ball was not seen by centerfielder Jonathan Wyatt and fell in right center field.

Junior closer Ryan Rote entered the game in the ninth inning facing four batters and walking one. Josh Morris popped up for the final out of the game.

The Commodores got on the board first in the bottom of the second when Scott scored from second on a single by Klosterman. Scott reached base on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on single down the third base line by Douillard.

Georgia tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning. Joey Slide reached base on a throwing error by Klosterman and advanced to second on a ground out by Marshall Szabo. Slide then advanced to third on a ground out by Justin Holmes. Slide scored on an error by Jones when he lost the ball in the sun.

Vanderbilt broke the 1-1 tie in its half of the fourth inning when junior left fielder Matt Zeller scored from first on a Douillard down the right field line.

Georgia took its first lead of the game in the top of the fifth when Jason Jacobs hit a two-run homerun over the left centerfield wall scoring Josh Smith who had singled to right field. It was Jacobs second home run of the season.

The Commodores tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning. With one away, Jones doubled down the right field line on the first pitch and scored when Baxter hit a double to center field.

Georgia took a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning when Justin Holmes scored on a Bobby Felmy single to right field. Holmes reached base after being hit by a pitch and advanced to second when Jonathan Wyatt drew a walk.

The Commodores take the series from Georgia following a 4-3 win in Friday's game. It's the first series win over the Bulldogs since Vanderbilt took two-out-of three from Georgia in 2000 in Nashville. The Commodores are now 9-1 in three-game series at Hawkins Field under Corbin, including a 4-0 mark this season. In two seasons, VU is 13-4 in SEC home games.

"Even though we started 0-3 (in SEC play), we played well in every game," Corbin said. "I keep telling the guys that you have to take it one game at a time because if you don't, it can be overwhelming. You can't get ahead of yourself."

The series concludes Sunday at 1 pm at Hawkins Field. Fans who bring a church bulletin can receive two tickets for $1.


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