Baseball: Vanderbilt 11 Belmont 4

NASHVILLE-- For the second straight night Vanderbilt put up a big inning late, this time nine runs in the seventh, to break a 2-2 tie as the Commodores went on to defeat Belmont 11-4 Wednesday night at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores improved to 13-6 on the year while the Bruins fell to 11-8. The contest ended a string of 14 of 15 games at home with all of 15 games played in Nashville. VU went 11-3 at home and 12-3 in that span.

"Belmont's pitchers did a good job of keeping us down," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "Both teams were going back and forth and we were able to get the big inning. Other than that we really didn't mount anything against their pitching."

Last night against South Alabama the Dores rallied from a 4-2 deficit with a five-run sixth. Tonight they went into the seventh tied at 2-2. Riley Reynolds led off the stanza with a double, Steven Liddle walked and Curt Casali singled to left to put the Commodores on top 3-2. Aaron Westlake had a two-run single to extend the lead to 5-2. VU loaded the bases for Drew Fann who laid a squeeze bunt down and reached safely when Belmont pitcher Logan Simmons overthrew the first baseman. Two runs came in to make it a 7-2 VU lead. Brian Harris hit a two-run double, Steven Liddle added a RBI double and Casali chipped in with another RBI single to push the advantage to 11-2.

Reliever Drew Hayes (2-1) pitched 0.2 innings of one-hit relief in the seventh to pick up the win. Russell Brewer pitched an inning of one-hit relief with two strikeouts in the eighth and then Mark Lamm closed it out in the ninth.

Belmont added two runs in the ninth on a double by Derek Hamblen to close out the game scoring. Simmons (0-1) gave up seven runs, three earned, on three hits in 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts and three walks in the losing effort.

Harris, Reynolds, Casali, Westlake and Esposito each led the Dores with two hits on the night. Matt Zeblo led the Bruins with three base knocks.

The Bruins took advantage of Navery Moore's control issues to load the bases in the first via two walks and one hit batter. They scored on Daniel Wagner's grounder to first to take a 1-0 lead.

The Commodores tied the game in the bottom of the second on a fielder's choice RBI by Drew Fann with the bases loaded. Aaron Westlake led off with a single and moved to second on Jason Esposito's single to center. Joey Manning sacrificed both runners over with a bunt to third base. Jordan Wormsley drew a walk to load the bases before Fann came through with the RBI grounder to score Westlake. Moore gave up one run on one hit in three innings of work in his first collegiate start. He battled through control issues, walking four and hit two batters while striking out two.

VU took the lead in the fourth when Jason Esposito doubled with one out, stole third and scored on a deep sacrifice fly RBI by Worsmley.

BU tied it back up in the fifth when Brandon McCall doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a one-out double by Matt Zeblo.

Taylor Hill allowed one run on four hits in two innings of relief with two strikeouts and two walks. Richie Goodenow came on in the sixth and pitched 1.1 innings of one-hit relief with two strikeouts.

The Commodores will be back in Southeastern Conference action this weekend as they travel to Kentucky for a three-game series. The teams will open on Friday at 5:30 p.m. CT and will continue on Saturday at Noon before closing things out on Sunday at Noon CT.

Belmont      100 010 002 - 4(11)2
Vanderbilt   010 100 90x - 11(12)0            

Hamann, Heath (4), Simmons (5), Ivie (7), Whitaker (7) and Zeblo. Moore, Hill (4), Goodenow (6), Hayes (7), Brewer (8), Lamm (9) and Fann. W- Hayes 2-1, L- Simmons 0-1. Sv- None. HR: None.

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