Baseball: Vanderbilt advances to title game

Vanderbilt mugged Ole Miss on Saturday 13-1 and then earned a trip to the SEC title game when they rallied to defeat the Rebs in 10 innings, 7-6. The No. 1 ranked Commodores, now 50-11, will face Western Division regular season champion Arkansas at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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GAME 1: Vanderbilt 13 Ole Miss 1

Vanderbilt exploded for eight runs in the first two innings and never looked back in a 13-1 eight-inning run rule victory over Ole Miss in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Regions Park.

The Commodores forced a second game with the Rebels with the winner advancing to face Arkansas in the tourney finals tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Vanderbilt improved to 49-11 on the year, while Ole Miss fell to 37-22.

Junior southpaw Cody Crowell had a stellar outing, limiting the Rebels to just a run on three hits in eight innings of work to improve to 4-1 on the year. He struck out five and walked one and moved to 2-0 all-time against the Rebels.

VU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first courtesy of a two-run homer by Pedro Alvarez, his 17th of the year. The Dores then broke the game open in the second, highlighted by a three-run jack by Parker Hanks and a two-run blast by Dominic de la Osa to make it 8-0.

Vanderbilt extended the lead to 10-0 in the fifth, with Ryan Flaherty roping a RBI double to right-center to key the way. It extended his hit streak to 28 games, a new school single season record.

Ole Miss avoided a seven-inning run rule by tallying a run in the seventh courtesy of a RBI double by Logan Power.

The Commodores added three more runs in the eighth, the first coming on a RBI single by David Macias and the next two on a double by Ryan Flaherty to close out the game scoring.

Alvarez finished 4-for-4 with two RBI to lead the way for VU with de la Osa, Flaherty, Meingasner and Brad French adding two hits apiece.

Vanderbilt  260 020 03 -13(16)0
Ole Miss    000 000 10 -133

Crowell and Robin. Bukvich, Simpson (2), Irwin (8) and Basham. W- Crowell 4-1, L- Bukvich 7-3. Sv- None. HR: Alvarez (17), de la Osa (18), Hanks (2)

Game Notes: Pedro Alvarez' 17th homer of the year gives him 39 in his career, good for sole possession of eighth place in the school's career record book. He has an 18 game hit streak as well … Vanderbilt is 13-6 all-time in elimination games at the SEC tournament ... Cody Crowell is 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA against Ole Miss in his career. He has given up just two runs in 22.2 innings on nine hits, spanning four appearances, with 11 strikeouts and three walks.


GAME 2: Vanderbilt 7 Ole Miss 6

Shea Robin's two-run single in the bottom of the tenth capped off an improbable and exciting four-run rally to give Vanderbilt a 7-6 win over Ole Miss Saturday night at Regions Park.

The Commodores (50-11) swept two games against the Rebels (37-23) on the day to advance to their third Southeastern Conference tournament championship game in the last four seasons.

Vanderbilt trailed 3-2 since the second inning before tying the game in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by David Macias. Robin led off the inning with a double down the right field line and then made it to third on a fielder's choice bunt by Ryan Davis. Brad French popped out, setting up Macias' sac fly in foul territory in left field to tie it at 3-3.

Ole Miss stormed back with three runs in the top of the 10th to take a 6-3 lead. Casey Weathers struck out the first batter in the inning before the Rebels put together three consecutive hits to load the bases. Ole Miss' Peyton Farr then missed a squeeze bunt and it looked like the Commodores had a run down on the runner at third trying to score. Robin, however, threw the ball in the outfield to allow two runs in. The Rebels then added another run on a fielder's choice to make it 6-3.

"I rushed a little too much," said Shea Robin on his throw. "I thought in my mind I should have tried to chase the runner back to third and slow the play down. I would have done it a lot differently."

Dominic de la Osa started the Commodores rally in the bottom of the 10th with a leadoff homer, his 19th of the year, to left-center to make it 6-4. Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty hit back-to-back singles to get the tying run on base. Matt Meingasner then hit a sacrifice bunt to third baseman Cody Overbeck who threw it away, allowing Alvarez to score and both runners to advance into scoring position. Robin followed by hitting the first pitch offering by Cody Satterwhite through the hole on the right side to bring Flaherty and Meingasner home to end the game.

It was the 29th come from behind victory for Vanderbilt this season.

Weathers moved to 11-2 on the year after giving up three runs on four hits in 3.2 innings with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Satterwhite fell to 4-4 after allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits in two innings of work.

Flaherty led the Commodores with three hits, while Robin and de la Osa chipped in with two each.

Zack Miller's solo homer gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the first. They added another run on a RBI double by Cody Overbeck that scored Justin Henry who tripled off of VU starter Ty Davis.

The Commodores came right back to tie the game in the bottom half on a two-run double by Ryan Flaherty, who extended his hit streak to 29 games in the process.

The Rebels took the lead back in the second on a RBI groundout by Zack Miller to make it 3-2.

Jason Cunningham came on in relief of Davis in the second and gave the performance of his young career by holding Ole Miss at bay for 4.2 scoreless innings. He gave up only two hits while walking three and striking out two in just his fourth appearance of the year. The Atlanta, Ga., product served as a student manager last season before making the team this season.

"I've dreamed of the moment a million times last year, but it's hard to come to grips with the ideas it's actually happened," said Cunningham. "It's been a lot of hard work and I'm glad the coaches gave me the opportunity."

Ole Miss    210 000 000 3 -6(10)2
Vanderbilt  200 000 001 4 -7(13)1
 

Bittle, Satterwhite (8) and Kliman, Basham. T. Davis, Cunningham (2), Weathers (7) and Robin.W- Weathers 11-2, L- Satterwhite 2-2. Sv- None. HR: OM: Miller (3), VU: de la Osa (19)


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