Baseball: Vandy pounds Middle, 14-2

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt pounded out a season high 22 hits as the Commodores rallied from an early 2-0 first inning deficit to defeat Middle Tennessee, 14-2. The victory improved Vanderbilt's record to 24-3 as a series at South Carolina looms for this weekend.

Down 2-0 in the bottom of the first, Pedro Alvarez belted a 2-run homer over the left center field wall to knot the score at 2-2. Later in the inning, a sacrifice fly by Andrew Giobbi scored Ryan Flaherty, who got on with a single after the Alvarez homer.

In the second inning the Commodores added 2 more runs as Brian Harris and Brad French each scored on a fielder's choices.

The fifth inning was tough on the Blue Raiders as Vanderbilt pounded home 6 more runs in an inning that saw 10 Vanderbilt batters with six of them getting hits. Andrew Giobbi, doubled and scored Meingasner who had singled to make it 6-2 Vandy. Alex Feinberg then singled home Giobbi to put Vanderbilt up 7-2. Brad French grounded out to score Feinberg and extend the lead to 8-2 Vanderbilt. David Macias then singled to center to score Harris and it's 9-2 Vanderbilt. Macias had one of his better days batter, picking up 2 hits and an RBI on the day. Dominic de la Osa then tripled to left field, scoring Macias and putting the Commodores up 10-2. Alvarez then struck again for the Commodores, this time with a double to left, scoring de la Osa and putting the 'Dores up 11-2.

Vanderbilt added a run by Ryan Davis in the sixth inning. Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin cleared much of his bench in the seventh inning but Vanderbilt still managed 2 more runs in the stretch inning. Alvarez picked up his third hit of the game when he singled and scored Jonathan White. Carter Hawkins then singled home Alvarez to put the Commodores up 14-2. It was Hawkins first hit of the season.

Left fielder Meingasner had the defensive play of the game to prevent an MTSU run in the top of the fourth. The runner was going to third and the catcher overthrew third baseman Alvarez and the ball went into left field. As the Middle runner bolted for home Meingasner quickly retrieved and fired the ball towards home. It was quickly evident that the base runner was doomed as he was soon called out at home plate.

Brett Jacobson recovered from a disappointing outing at Arkansas last weekend and earned the win for Vanderbilt. Jacobson (5-1) pitched 5 innings, allowing 4 runs and walking just 1 while striking out 5 after giving up the 2 early runs and earned the win. Stephen Shao, Josh Zeid, Cameron Betourne and Casey Weathers each pitched one of the last four innings and allowed no hits and walked none. Weathers had 2 strikeouts while Zeid and Shao each had one.

MTSU's Tyler Copeland (2-2), who allowed 5 hits in 1 1/3 innings, took the loss for the Blue Raiders.

After the game a happy Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin expressed his satisfaction with Alvarez's performance, "They [opponents] know he's strong and they know if they make a mistake he's going to punish it. I think the homerun and the double the other way were good at bats for him," said Corbin.

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