Baseball: Vanderbilt 15 MTSU 7

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt scored seven runs in the fifth inning to rally from a 5-4 deficit and went on to a 15-7 win over Middle Tennessee Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores snapped a two-game non-conference losing streak to move to 22-13, while the Blue Raiders dropped to 24-9 on the season.

Curt Casali walked to lead off the fifth and moved to third on a single by Aaron Westlake. Jason Esposito hit a RBI single that bounced off the pitcher and stayed in the infield. Joe Loftus then doubled to right-center to score Westlake. Brian Harris walked, Esposito scored on a wild pitch and Riley Reynolds added a sacrifice bunt RBI to make it 8-4. Andrew Giobbi then capped off the inning with a three-run homer to left-center, his second round-tripper of the year.

"We've had a big inning in every one of our wins and I think that's important and certainly something to continue in the future," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin.

VU added two more runs in the sixth with Giobbi adding a RBI single. He finished the night 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.

MTSU scored a run in the seventh on Bryce Brentz' solo homer to straight-away center, his 16th blast of the season. He finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Blue Raiders.

Riley Reynolds extended his hit streak to 17 games with a RBI double in the eighth. He later scored on a fielding error to close out the 15 run, 15 hit night for the Dores.

Sonny Gray moved to 3-0 after allowing one run on four hits in 1.2 innings of relief with three strikeouts and a walk. Richie Goodenow made his first collegiate start and gave up four runs on five hits in a career-high 3.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Sean Bierman allowed one run on one hit in three innings of relief with four strikeouts and a walk and Taylor Hill closed out the game allowing a run on a Brentz RBI double while striking out three.

Joe Loftus added three hits, while Aaron Westlake, Jason Esposito and Alex McClure each had two hits in the winning effort.

The Blue Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, scoring all of the runs with two outs against VU starter Richie Goodenow. Rawley Bishop had a RBI single, Ben Darlington a RBI double and Ben Hudson a RBI single to account for the runs.

The Commodores, who were shutout 8-0 last Tuesday in Murfreesboro, rallied right back to tie the game in the bottom half. Andrew Giobbi led off with a single, stole second with one out and scored on Aaron Westlake's RBI single to left-center. Westlake scored on a RBI single by Jason Esposito and Joe Loftus drove in the third run with a double to left-center.

"This game is certainly a different game than last week's against MTSU," said Corbin. The three runs we got in the bottom of the first definitely got us going a bit. They were tough to put down though."

VU took a 4-3 lead in the third when Steven Liddle walked, moved to third on a single by Curt Casali and scored on Westlake's sacrifice fly RBI to right.

The Blue Raiders scored two runs in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead on a RBI triple by Nathan Hines and a RBI single by Bryce Brentz.

The Commodores will play Morehead State Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Junior right-hander Drew Hayes will get the start on the mound (2-2, 5.40 ERA) in the final game before Alabama comes to town for a three-game series.
Middle Tennessee 300 200 101 - 7(12)4
Vanderbilt       301 072 02x - 15(15)1
 
Stoltz, Mears (5), Smalley (7) and Robertson. Goodenow, Gray (4), Bierman (6), Hill (9) and Giobbi. W- Gray 3-0, L- Stoltz 1-1. Sv- None. HR: MTSU: Brentz (16) VU: Giobbi (2)

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