Baseball: Vanderbilt takes series from UT, 6-4

Nashville, Tenn. – The Commodores scored four runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a Warner Jones two-out, two-run home run over the right centerfield wall, helping lead Vanderbilt to a 6-4 victory over #25 Tennessee in front of a sellout crowd Sunday at Hawkins Field. With the win, the Commodores take the series from the Volunteers, 2-1.

Sophomore left-hander Stephen Shao earned the win and improved to 3-1. He went 0.2 hitless innings. Starter David Price struck out a career-high 11 batters in 6.2 innings and allowed three runs (three earned) on five hits and walked four in the no-decision. Matt Buschmann pitched the final inning to earn his first save on the year. Michael Wagner went 0.2 innings giving up two hits and striking out two.

Rucker Taylor led off the game with a double to left field. With one away, Warner Jones doubled to left centerfield scoring Taylor giving Vanderbilt a 1-0 lead.

The Volunteers tied the game in the second inning when Josh Alley hit a two-out RBI double to right centerfield scoring Rivera who led off the inning with a single.

Cobb retired 14 consecutive batters before Matt Zeller hit a 1-1 pitch over the right centerfield wall to break the 1-1 tie in the sixth inning giving the Commodores a 2-1 lead.

Tennessee took the lead back in the seventh inning when Eli Org hit a two-run single that fell in shallow left centerfield with bases loaded and two away. Alley singled to centerfield and stole second. Headley walked and Arencibia was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Org's hit. Wagner came in relief for Price and struck out Edmundson stranding runners at first and third.

Tennessee led off the eighth inning with back-to-back singles from Rivera and Rob Fitzgerald. With one away, Rivera and Fitzgerald both advanced on a double steal placing runners on second and third and Alley drew a walk off Shao to load the bases. Shao then struck out King and forced Headley to pop up to end the inning stranding three baserunners.

Antoan Richardson led off the eighth inning with a single to shallow right field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline by Zeller. Rucker Taylor took the first pitch and laid a perfect bunt to the left side moving Richardson to third. Mike Baxter hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Richardson to tie the game before Jones hit his sixth home run of the season. Pinch hitter Alex Feinberg hit a double to deep centerfield scoring Brian Hernandez who walked for the 6-3 Commodore lead.

The Vols added one run in the top of the ninth when JP Arencibia hit a solo homerun. Buschmann forced the next three batters to ground out to preserve the win.

The Commodores and Vols each totaled eight hits, but Tennessee stranded 12 baserunners compared to VU's three. Taylor and Jones led Vanderbilt with two hits each. Alley, Arencibia and Rivera each totaled two hits for Tennessee.

The Commodores play at Middle Tennessee Tuesday (April 26) before hosting the LSU Tigers next weekend.


Vandy players celebrate. (VU Photo/ Neil Brake)

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