March 17, 2013
Auburn, Ala. -
No. 2 Vanderbilt finished a series sweep at Auburn on Sunday afternoon with an 8-6 victory.
The Commodores' (19-2) offense jumped on the Tigers (13-6) early scoring in each of the first four innings. Conrad Gregor started the scoring in the first with a sacrifice fly to plate Tony Kemp. VU tacked on three more runs in the second inning and chased Auburn starter Rocky McCord. Chris Harvey delivered a RBI-double and Gregor again came through narrowly missing a home run with a two-run double off the left-center field wall. Rhett Wiseman's two-out, RBI-double in the fourth gave Vandy a 7-1 lead headed to the bottom of the fourth.
The Tigers climbed back into the game with two runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth to cut the Commodores' lead to two runs. But the Vanderbilt bullpen rose to the occasion with Jared Miller and Brian Miller working the final three innings to preserve the win and give the Commodores' their first road series sweep since sweeping the Tigers on The Plains in 2011.
"Last week at Oregon, playing a top-notch team with a good crowd and atmosphere really prepared us to come here," Brian Miller said. We're really a mature team; Coach [Corbin] talks about that a lot. Those two things combined help us relax and play our game."
Brian Miller saved all three games for the Commodores over the weekend and now has seven for the season, four shy of the single-season school record. His 12 career saves in his first two seasons have already moved him into a tie for fourth on the all-time saves list at VU.
Vanderbilt pounded out 13 hits on the afternoon with seven players collecting at least one hit and four having multi-hit games. Kemp and Mike Yastrzemski led the way with three hits each while Wiseman and Harvey had two-hit, two RBI games. Gregor's three RBI in the win are a season-best for the junior. Patrick Savage and Blake Austin picked up two hits apiece in the loss for Auburn.
Dores' starter Philip Pfeifer tossed four-plus innings allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in a no decision. McCord (2-1) was pinned with the loss for the Tigers giving up four runs on four hits and three walks in just 1.2 innings on the mound.
Vanderbilt's perfect 3-0 start is the team's best since starting 3-0 in 1972.
The Commodores return to action Wednesday night at Middle Tennessee State at 6 p.m. Southeastern Conference play at Hawkins Field opens next weekend when the Florida Gators come to Nashville. The Dores and Gators play Friday night at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. on CSS and Sunday's finale is scheduled for noon.