March 9, 2013
Eugene, Ore. -
It was not pretty but No. 2 Vanderbilt clinched the series at No. 15 Oregon with a 4-2 win at PK Park on Saturday afternoon.
Much like Friday night the Commodores (15-1) jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the second and third innings. But it would be the team's runs later in the game that proved to be the difference. The Ducks (10-5) clawed back into the game in the sixth with an unearned run off starter Tyler Beede but Vandy answered back in the top of the seventh. Freshman Tyler Campbell drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Tony Kemp's bunt single. A sacrifice bunt from Jack Lupo and walk to Conrad Gregor loaded the bases for Connor Harrell. The senior had struck out in his first three at-bats of the game but came up huge by working a bases loaded walk to force in a run. Kemp tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with his third hit of the day, a two-out double to left to score Spencer Navin.
The Vanderbilt defense struggled, committing a season-high three errors that led to both of Oregon's runs. The Ducks made it exciting in the seventh inning loading the bases before Brian Miller was summoned from the bullpen to face Ryon Healy. Miller struck out the Ducks' best hitter to end the threat on four pitches. The Commodores' defense allowed Oregon a chance to get back in the game in the eighth. An error on Vince Conde allowed the leadoff hitter to reach and Joel McKeithan's error would have been the third out of the inning but instead gave Oregon first and third with two outs. The Ducks took advantage of the mistakes with Connor Hofmann driving in a run to cut the VU lead to 4-2. But Miller again rose to the occasion striking out J.J. Altobelli to strand two more Ducks in scoring position. Miller worked around a pair of hits in the ninth to nail down his team-best third save of the season.
Beede (4-0) earned the win working 6.2 innings for Vanderbilt. The sophomore allowed one unearned run on two hits and six walks to go along with seven strikeouts. Oregon starter Tommy Thorpe (2-2) took the loss giving up two runs on four hits over six innings.
The Commodores' 13-game winning streak is the longest since 2007 when Vanderbilt opened the season by wining 19 straight games. With the series clinching victory, the Dores have now won all four nonconference series.
Lefty Philip Pfeifer (2-0) will be on the bump tomorrow afternoon for the series finale against Ducks' southpaw Cole Irvin (3-0).