March 16, 2013
Auburn, Ala. -
No. 2 Vanderbilt scored six runs over the last three innings to put away Auburn and claim the series with an 8-1 win at Plainsman Park Saturday afternoon.
The Commodores' (18-2) offense struggled through the first three innings before finally breaking through in the fifth inning. Freshman Rhett Wiseman broke up a scoreless game ripping a triple into right field to score Mike Yastrzemski from first base. Joel McKeithan made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to deep left-center field. The Dores put the game away over the last three innings scoring six runs on eight hits. Wiseman and McKeithan again provided the runs in the seventh inning. Wiseman with a RBI-single and McKeithan with a safety squeeze bunt to score Vince Conde from third. McKeithan's career day was capped by a RBI-single in the Commodores' three-run ninth. The VU shortstop drove in a career-high three runs in the win going 1-for-2.
"We go into each game trying to be aggressive," McKeithan said of the offense. "Yesterday it worked out that we got our pitches to hit early in the game, that we could hit and drive in some runs. Today it worked out that we had to make a little adjustment half way through the game. Right after that we started putting runs on the board."
Seven different Commodores had at least one of the team's 11 hits on the afternoon. Kemp led the way with three hits as Jack Lupo and Wiseman added two each.
For the second straight day Vanderbilt's starting pitcher turned in 6.1 no-hit innings. Tyler Beede (5-0) followed up Kevin Ziomek's Friday night gem with 6.1 no-hit innings of his own. Beede, however, was anything but perfect walking six Tigers over his 6.2 scoreless innings to earn the win. The sophomore pitched himself into and out of trouble all afternoon but did not allow a run and only two hits. Beede stranded three runners over the first two frames before settling down in the third and fourth innings. Damek Tomscha finally broke up the no-hit bid in the seventh inning with a single to center field and Dan Glevenyak's single chased Beede from the game. Steven Rice entered and struck out the only batter he faced to end the Tigers' threat in the seventh.
"[Tyler] didn't really have his best stuff today but he battled," said McKeithan. "He had a no hitter through six and that really shows what kind of stuff he has to be able to go out there when he doesn't have his best stuff and compete."
Auburn again threatened to get back in the game in the eighth loading the bases against freshman Carson Fulmer. After Fulmer forced in a run with his second walk of the inning, closer Brian Miller was summoned from the VU bullpen. Miller needed just two pitches to get the final out of the eighth before working the ninth inning to earn his sixth save of the season. Auburn starter Michael O'Neal took the loss allowing three runs on three hits over six-plus innings. The Tigers' bullpen allowed five runs on eight hits over the final three innings.
Vanderbilt's 18-2 start is the team's best since 2011 when the squad matched the 2007 team school record 19-1 start. The Commodores are now 11-1 when scoring at least seven runs and a perfect 18-0 when holding opponents to four runs or less.
The Dores go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. Lefty Philip Pfeifer (2-0) gets the ball for Vanderbilt against Auburn's right-hander Rocky McCord (2-0).