Ninth inning homer propels Vandy past Ball St

NASHVILLE ­­--- Dominic de la Osa's two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth lifted Vanderbilt to a 7-6 win over Ball State in baseball action Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores were down to their last out when de la Osa took reliever Kyle Heyne's pitch over the wall in left-center. It was the second walk-off homer in the sophomore's career as he also hit one against Tennessee last year.

"Dominic has had some big hits here before," said head coach Tim Corbin. "He is one of those guys that keeps plugging away. He comes down here every single day with the same plan and he is just eager to start hitting the ball again. He is a good player and you know that he is not going to be down for long."

The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third off of VU starter Matt Buschmann. Third baseman C.J. Webb had a two-run single in the first and rightfielder Eric Earnhart had a RBI single in the third to account for the runs.

The Commodores cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the third on first baseman Ryan Flaherty's two-run single to left-center.

Ball State added two unearned runs in the seventh to push the lead back to three runs before VU responded in dramatic fashion in the bottom half of the inning.

Flaherty doubled to right-center, David Macias walked and Pedro Alvarez struck out to start the inning. Then for the second day in a row, Parker Hanks delivered a game-tying homer, this one a three-run shot to left-center off of reliever Jay Broughton's first pitch of the contest.

"I saw that he was a fastball pitcher when he came in and he gave me a good pitch to hit," said Hanks.

The Cardinals came right back and took a 6-5 lead in the eighth on catcher Matt Singleton's RBI single off of reliever Ty Davis.

David Macias opened the ninth with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Pinch-hitter Carter Hawkins bunted him over to third and Hanks grounded out to set up de la Osa's heroics.

"Baseball is one of those games where if you do the right things, it will come back to you," said Corbin.

Vanderbilt evened the series and improved to 5-5 on the year, while Ball State fell to 2-5 overall.

Matt Buschmann allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings of action with three walks and three strikeouts in the no decision. Ty Davis (3-1) pitched the final 2.2 innings to pick up his second win of the week. He allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout.

Kyle Heyne, who picked up the save yesterday, took the loss to drop to 1-3 on the year.

Flaherty and de la Osa led the Commodores with two hits each, while Singleton led the Cardinals with three hits on the day.

The two teams will meet in the rubber game of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. Southpaw Cody Crowell is expected to take the hill for Vanderbilt, while Ball State will counter with righthander Ryan DeGeeter.

Ball State   201 000 210- 6(10)1
Vanderbilt   002 000 302- 771

Pritchard, Bucklew (5), Broughton (7), Heyne (9) and Singleton. Buschmann, Shao (7), Davis (7) and Robin. W- Davis (3-1), L- Heyne (1-3). SV- None. HR- VU: Hanks (2), de la Osa (1).

David Macias (VM/Stan Jones)

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