March 4, 2012
Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt won a back-and-forth game Sunday 12-8 to finish off a three-game sweep of Rhode Island at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (4-7) rallied for nine runs over the team's final three innings to beat the Rams (4-5) and finish off the Dores' first sweep of the season. After Rhode Island had taken the lead in the top of the sixth, Vanderbilt rallied for four runs in the bottom half to take the lead sending nine men to the plate. A RBI-single from Spencer Navin tied the game and Tony Kemp's RBI-single put VU in front. Anthony Gomez followed with a two-run double to cap the rally and push the Vanderbilt lead to 7-4.
However, the Rams were not done, scoring four runs of their own in the seventh inning to claim a lead at the stretch. Once again the Vanderbilt offense answered the challenge, pushing three runs across in the bottom of the seventh to reclaim the lead for good. Riley Reynolds led off the seventh with a single and Andrew Harris' double to deep right field put runners on second and third. A Rhode Island error allowed the tying run to score before Kemp's single up the middle scored Harris to put VU back in front. Conrad Gregor added a run-scoring fielder's choice to finish off the three-run rally. The Commodores then added two insurance runs in the eighth, including Navin's third hit of the day and fourth RBI.
Navin led the way for Vandy going 3-for-6 with four RBI, three runs scored and his first career home run, a game-tying blast to lead off the bottom of the first. Navin finished the weekend 7-for-13 with four extra-base hits, five runs scored and six RBI. Kemp added two hits and two RBI to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Harris scored three runs and knocked in a run, reaching base four times. Reynolds added two hits for his second two-hit outing in his last three games. Eight of VU's nine starters collected hits on the afternoon with the team finishing with 12 hits in the game. Pat Fortunato led the Rams with three runs scored and three hits to go along with his two RBI.
Will Clinard (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Commodores working 2.1 scoreless innings. Mike Bradstreet (0-1) was pinned with the loss, giving up five runs, four earned, on five hits over 2.2 innings. Vanderbilt starter Sam Selman tossed five innings allowing four runs, two earned, on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Four VU pitchers combined to strike out 13 Rhode Island batters in the win.
The game featured nine lead changes in the first seven innings and sloppy defense on both sides as the two teams combined for eight errors, including five by Vanderbilt to match a season-high.
The Commodores return to action Tuesday at Belmont to take on the Bruins in the first of two games between the cross-town rivals this season. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. at Rose Park.