Baseball: Vanderbilt 10 Austin Peay 5

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt rallied from a 4-1 deficit with a five-run third inning and went on to defeat Austin Peay, 10-5, in baseball action Tuesday night at Hawkins Field. The Commodores (15-8) won their 12th straight over the Govs (9-13) dating back to the 2002 season.

Alex McClure, son of Austin Peay head coach Gary McClure, ignited the rally in the third with a leadoff single. Brian Harris reached on a fielding error by Govs shortstop Jon Clinard and Steven Liddle was hit by a pitch from starter Ryne Mantooth to load the bases. Curt Casali and Aaron Westlake came through with back-to-back RBI singles to cut the lead to 4-3. Joe Loftus walked to load the bases again and Richie Goodenow then brought in a run when he was walked on four pitches. Jason Esposito added a RBI single and Jonathan White had a sacrifice fly RBI to close out the scoring in the inning.

"Any time you can have a five-run inning is good, but we had some problems too," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "We had some missed opportunities, swung out of the zone. These games are tough to win and you can't take anything for granted. You open the paper on Tuesday and Wednesday and you see teams getting beat that, in your mind, shouldn't and you realize that a win is a win, and that's what we need right now."

Adam Browett's RBI single in the fourth cut the lead to 6-5, but Loftus responded for the Dores with a solo homer in the fifth, his second round-tripper of the season, to make it 7-5. Brian Harris scored from third in the sixth and VU added two more runs in the seventh with McClure coming up with a RBI single in the frame.

Sean Bierman (2-1) came on in relief of starter Russell Brewer in the third and gave up a run on four hits in five innings of work with seven strikeouts and two walks to pick up the win. Taylor Hill and Jack Armstrong closed out the contest with an inning of hitless relief each. Armstrong looked impressive, striking out the side to end the game.

"Sean controlled the game, he stabilized it and we were able to get back to our offensive power," said Corbin.

Winds played a factor early in the game as gusts approached 20-25 miles an hour. Michael Blanchard led off the game with a solo homer to left-center, his first collegiate circuit clout. The Govs had four hits in the frame and scored two more runs on a RBI single by Matt Kole and a sacrifice fly RBI by Ryne Mantooth.

Brian Harris then led off the Commodores half with a solo homer to left-center, his second homer of the year. He finished the day 2-for-4 with three runs scored.

Blanchard added a RBI single in the second to extend the lead to 4-1. He finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Browett led the team with a 3-for-4 evening.

Mantooth (1-4) was charged with the loss for Austin Peay, allowing six runs, four earned, on four hits in 2.1 innings of work.

The Commodores will be back in action Wednesday against Wright State at 6 p.m. Sophomore right-hander Chase Reid (2-0, 2.87 ERA) will get the start on the mound in a pitch-count outing.

Austin Peay  310 100 000 - 5(10)4
Vanderbilt   105 011 20x - 10(12)2

Mantooth, Huff (3), Snodgrass (6), Bernatowicz (8) and Lucas. Brewer, Bierman (3), Hill (8), Armstrong (9) and Westlake. W- Bierman 2-1, L- Mantooth 1-4. Sv- None. HR: AP: Blanchard (1) VU: Harris (2), Loftus (2).

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