Vanderbilt gets to SEC Tourney Final

HOOVER- Vanderbilt pounded out 15 hits and used a solid outing by starting pitcher Cody Crowell to run-rule Georgia 11-1 to advance to the SEC tournament championship game for the second time in three years. Earlier in the day Vanderbilt had blown a late 4-1 lead and fell to the Bulldogs 5-4. The loss forced the Commodores to face Georgia again in the afternoon.

The Commodores recorded their second seven inning run-rule win of the tournament to improve to 36-24 on the year. They will face Ole Miss in the championship game tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m., with an opportunity to win their first tourney crown since 1980.

Georgia fell to 41-19 on the year after splitting two games with Vanderbilt today.

"It was a long day of baseball," said VU head coach Tim Corbin. "If you play two games, I guess it's best to play one short. Cody was good, once he got by the third or fourth inning, he settled down. Offensively, it was much like the game against South Carolina where we pecked away and got bunts. When your team knows what you have to do to win two games and I looked at their bullpen. I could tell that they had doubts. They played more baseball than us so I felt like we could win this battle."

Crowell moved to 5-2 on the year after scattering eight hits over seven innings with two strikeouts and a walk.

"It's been a team effort since we got here," said Crowell. "I can go out and have complete confidence in the team. Georgia's playing good baseball, but to come out and score 11 runs, it's easy to go out there and pitch."

Pedro Alvarez started the Commodores three-run first inning with a solo homer to right-center. It was his 19th of the year, tying him for first place on the school's single season list. A RBI double by Brian Hernandez and a RBI single by Dominic de la Osa made it 3-0.

Crowell got into a little trouble with two outs in the third by loading the bases and allowing a run to score on a hit by pitch to make it 3-1. He was able to get out of it with minimal damage as the next batter popped out to end the inning.

The Commodores added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-1. David Macias had a RBI single and then scored on Ryan Flaherty's RBI double into the left-centerfield gap.

Dominic de la Osa led off the fifth with a triple and then scored on Shea Robin's single up the middle to make it 6-1.

Vandy scored three more runs in the sixth to break the game open. With two men on, Ryan Flaherty hit a RBI single to right that slipped under Jonathan Wyatt's glove and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing everyone on the bases to score.

The Commodores closed out the scoring in the seventh when Flaherty hit a RBI groundout to second with the bases loaded allowing Alex Feinberg to score. The UGA first baseman fielded the grounder and tried to get the runner at second, but threw the ball into the outfield allowing David Macias to score from second to end the game.

Flaherty led VU with three hits and three RBI. De la Osa and Shea Robin also had three hits in the winning effort.

"Anytime you have a chance to put the nail in the coffin, it gives you an edge and gives you motivation to go ahead and put it away," said Flaherty.

Junior righthander Tyler Rhoden is slated to start for Vanderbilt tomorrow, while junior lefthander Craig Rodriguez is slated to throw for Ole Miss. VU took two of three from the Rebels at the start of the SEC season (March 17-18).

Georgia    001 000 0- 183
Vanderbilt 300 213 2- 11(15)1

Sebastian, Fellows (1), McDaniel (6), Westphal (7) and Jacobs. Crowell and Robin. W- Crowell 6-2, L- Sebastian 0-3. Sv- None. HR- Alvarez (19).

Game Notes: The two triples today tied a season high (Brown on March 11) … The Commodores moved to 5-1 against Georgia in SEC tourney play … VU has outscored its opponents 35-11 during the tournament.

Vandy drops first game of day to UGA

Matthew Dunn's two-run double capped off a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to lift Georgia to a 5-4 win over Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon at the SEC Tournament at the Hoover-Met.

The Bulldogs forced a second game to be played at 5 p.m., with the winner of that contest advancing into the tournament final tomorrow afternoon.

The Commodores got solid outings by Ty Davis and Stephen Shao as they combined to limit the hot-hitting Bulldog attack to just three hits through eight innings of action.

Casey Weathers opened the ninth by striking out Josh Morris. UGA used back to back walks to Bobby Felmy and Jason Jacobs and a single by pinch hitter Matt Robbins to load the bases. Nick Christiani (2-4) came on for VU and gave up a two-run single to Ryan Peisel and then Dunn's two-run double to right to end the game.

Davis pitched a season-high 6.1 innings in the start and gave up one run on two hits with four walks and a career-best seven strikeouts. Reliever Stephen Shao came on in the seventh and got out of a one-out bases loaded jam by inducing Matthew Dunn to hit into a pitcher-to-catcher-to-first double play.

Vanderbilt led 1-0 in the seventh when Brad French led off with an infield bunt single and then moved to second when David Macias was hit by a pitch. Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty had back-to-back RBI singles to make it 3-0. Dominic de la Osa added a sacrifice fly RBI to cap off the three-run inning.

Vanderbilt took a 1-0 lead in the third when Brad French led off the inning with a single and scored on a double to left-center by Ryan Flaherty.

Flaherty led the Dores with three hits and two RBI, while Ryan Peisel led the Bulldogs with a 4-for-4 afternoon.

Joshua Fields (3-2) pitched an inning of scoreless relief to pick up the win.

Vanderbilt  001 000 300-490
Georgia     000 000 104-561

Ty Davis, Shao (7), Weathers (9), Christiani (9) and Hernandez. Leaver, Dodson (7), Fields (9) and Jacobs. W- Fields 3-2, L- Christiani 2-4. Sv- None. HR- None .

Game Notes: The loss was the first to Georgia in five tries (4-1) at the SEC tournament … Going into the ninth inning, VU had given up just three earned runs in 26 innings in the tourney … Brian Hernandez' 10-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-5 showing.

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