Vanderbilt erased a 5-0 deficit and won 12-8 for the largest comeback in Hawkins Field history. The Commodores improved to 18-5, 3-3 in SEC play, while Georgia fell to 16-8, 2-4.
The Commodores took an 8-5 lead when they scored seven runs in the fifth inning. Senior right fielder Worth Scott started the inning with a double to right field. After a Georgia pitching change (Johnny Dobbs for starter Sean Ruthven), junior left fielder Matt Zeller singled and advanced to second on the throw scoring Scott. Zeller reached third when senior catcher Jonathan Douillard singled to left center. Junior shortstop Ryan Klosterman single drove in Zeller and allowed Douillard to advance to third. Junior centerfielder Antoan Richardson drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Sophomore second baseman Warner Jones then cleared the bases with a three-run double to center field giving Vanderbilt its first lead of the game, 6-5. Senior first baseman Cesar Nicolas followed with a hit to left field advancing Jones to third and designated hitter Mike Baxter hit a triple to left center which scored both Jones and Nicolas for an 8-5 score. All seven runs were scored with no outs.
"It characterizes the entire weekend," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "Worth (Scott) started the rally and after he got on it just perpetuated itself into a big inning. Then, we had the right guy (Warner Jones) at the plate when we needed it."
Jones was 3-5 on the day and finished the series with a .714 batting average going 10-14 with five doubles, one triple and seven RBI.
Jones extended his hitting streak to 30 consecutive games when he doubled to left field in the first inning. He is closing in on the SEC hitting streak record of 31 in consecutive seasons held by Rex Buckner of Mississippi State (1992-93).
"I've been feeling pretty good all year," Jones said. "I just stood in there and I knew he had to come with a fastball with the bases loaded and I was able to drive it into the gap."
UGA's Jason Jacobs hit his second home run of the series in the top of the seventh to narrow the VU lead to two, 8-6, off VU reliever Jeff Sues.
Vanderbilt added four more in the seventh inning when freshman Aaron Garza hit a three-run triple. With one away, Baxter singled up the middle and senior third baseman Tony Mansolino singled to right field. Mansolino then stole second and Scott was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Rip Warren then entered the game for the Bulldogs in relief for McLaughlin and pinch hitter Aaron Garza took a 1-2 pitch to deep left center field to collect three RBI. Garza then scored when the relay throw by shortstop Justin Holmes went into the Vanderbilt dugout.
Garza, who is now 2-2 in pinch hit at bats this season, stayed in the game at left field and made a jumping catch into the left field wall to register the first out of the eighth inning.
Georgia scored two runs in the ninth, but left two on base when Josh Smith flied out to Richardson in centerfield.
The Bulldogs began the game with a four-run first inning. All four runs were scored with two outs. Bobby Felmy reached base on an error, Justin Holmes singled to left field and Jason Jacobs walked to load the bases. Joey Side reached on a fielder's choice when Felmy was thrown out at home. Marshall Szabo then beat out the throw on a hit to third base to score Holmes. Josh Smith's hit landed just over the mound that scored Jacobs. Clint Sammons then singled to center field scoring Szabo and Side.
Georgia extended its lead to 5-0 in the fourth when Josh Smith scored on a Felmy single to right field.
The Commodores got on the board in their half of the inning when Jones hit a standup triple off the centerfield wall and scored on a fielder's choice by Nicolas.
Sophomore left-hander Ryan Mullins earned his third win of the season. He allowed five runs (one earned) on eight hits in 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Sues pitched 3.1 innings for his first save of the season. He gave up three runs (three earned) on five hits.
Johnny Dobbs got the loss for the Bulldogs giving up four runs (four earned) on three hits and walking one facing four batters with out retiring anyone.
Vanderbilt tied the single-game record for triples in a game with four (Richardson, Jones, Baxter, Garza). The last time the Commodores totaled four triples in a game was April 6, 1970 against Belmont.
The Commodores host Belmont Tuesday at 6 pm and Austin Peay Wednesday at 6 pm.