March 20, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.--- Ross Wilson and Josh Rutledge each had clutch three-run hits to propel Alabama to an 8-2 win over Vanderbilt, claiming the Southeastern Conference series victory Saturday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Crimson Tide (16-1, 2-0 SEC) have now won seven straight games over the Commodores (15-4, 0-2 SEC) dating back to the 2008 season. VU has lost two games in a row for the first time this year and have lost five straight SEC contests dating back to last season's regular season finale against Tennessee.
Ross Wilson's three-run homer in the third staked the Crimson Tide to a 3-0 lead. Brock Bennett led off with a single, moved to second on a bunt and then over to third on Josh Rutledge's single to left. Wilson then belted his fourth homer of the year over the wall in left to break up the scoreless contest.
VU got on the board in the fourth when Curt Casali walked, Jason Esposito doubled and Connor Harrell singled up the middle to score both to cut the lead to 3-2.
Bama plated a run in the bottom half to make it 4-2. John David Smelser led off with a double and then moved to third on a bunt single by Jon Kelton. Smelser scored when Riley Reynolds throw to get Kelton out on the bunt sailed between Taylor Hill and Anthony Gomez, neither of whom covered first base in time.
Hill (3-1) had his shortest outing of the year allowing four runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings with two walks and two strikeouts and picked up his first loss in 2010.
Reliever Drew Hayes cruised through the fifth and recorded two outs in the sixth before running into trouble and loading the bases. Josh Rutledge battled through a nine pitch at-bat before doubling everyone home to extend the lead to 7-2.
Hayes ended up giving up three runs on two hits in 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and two walks.
Nelson (4-0) had the second straight quality start for the Crimson Tide in the series. He allowed two runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings with five strikeouts and four walks.
Ross Wilson added a RBI groundout in the eighth to extend the lead to 8-2. He ended up with four RBI, while catcher Brock Bennett led the team with a 4-for-4 day and three runs scored.
Will Clinard closed out the game for VU, giving up one run on two hits in two innings with a strikeout and two walks.
Anthony Gomez had three hits to lead VU with fellow freshman Connor Harrell adding two of his own.
The Dores and Crimson Tide will conclude the series on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on CSS.