Nashville, Tenn. - San Diego held off a late ninth inning rally to edge Vanderbilt 2-1 Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field and even the series at one game apiece.
After two quick outs in the ninth, the Commodores' offense sprang to life when Connor Harrell reached base on a hit by pitch. Tony Kemp then drew a walk and an infield single from Anthony Gomez loaded the bases for Mike Yastrzemski. The Vandy right fielder had two hits on the day but bounced the first pitch he saw in the ninth to Toreros' second baseman Austin Bailey, who threw to first to end the rally and the game.
San Diego claimed an early lead in the second inning with a two-out rally. Andrew Daniels' single to center put runners on first and second before Dillon Haupt belted a two-run double into the left-center field gap for the first runs of the game. Vanderbilt answered in the bottom of the third inning with Conrad Gregor's bases loaded, RBI-single cutting the lead to one run. Toreros' starter Paul Sewald, however, battled back to strike out Chris Harvey and end the threat. The Dores put runners in scoring position in the fifth and eighth innings but failed to advance either runner.
The Commodores out hit San Diego 8-6, led by two-hit games from Kemp, Gomez and Yastrzemski. Daniel paced the Toreros with two hits. Kemp's single in the third inning pushed his hitting streak to 11 games. The Vandy defense also played one of the team's best games of the season, committing no errors in a game for the second time this year.
Sewald picked up the win for San Diego working six solid innings allowing one run on five hits with eight strikeouts. Vanderbilt starter Drew VerHagen was pinned with his first loss of the season giving up two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. The combination of Dores' relievers Steven Rice, Brian Miller and Will Clinard combined for 4.1 innings of scoreless relief allowing only one hit with four strikeouts.
The rubber match between the two teams is scheduled to start tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Hawkins Field. Vanderbilt turns to lefty Sam Selman to face San Diego's right-hander Dylan Covey.