March 20, 2013
Murfreesboro, Tenn. -
Middle Tennessee State jumped on Vanderbilt early for three runs in the first inning and never looked back, defeating the No. 2 Commodores 4-1 Wednesday night at Reese Smith Field.
The Blue Raiders (12-10) wasted no time with leadoff hitter Ryan Ford starting the rally in the first inning with a single. With one out and two on, Trent Miller roped a double down the left field line to score two runs. One batter later Michael Adkins made it 3-0 with his own double off the left field wall. MTSU tacked on an unearned run in the third when Johnny Thomas scored on a passed ball.
The Vanderbilt (19-3) bats endured a frustrating night leaving 10 men on base and hitting into a season-high three double plays. The team entered the night having hit into just eight double plays all year. The first twin killing ended the second inning when the Dores had two runners aboard. Tony Kemp led off the third inning with a walk but was doubled off first when Xavier Turner fouled out to first on a hit and run play. Kemp bounced into the third double play in the fifth after Chris Harvey had led off the frame with a walk.
Vanderbilt's lone run came in the sixth when Joel McKeithan singled down the right field line to score John Norwood from second. McKeithan and Norwood led the Commodores with two hits each on the night. Ford paced the Blue Raiders with three hits.
Joey McClung (2-0) earned the win for the Blue Raiders working 2.2 innings out of the bullpen. The lefty allowed one unearned run on three hits. MTSU starter Jordan Cooper walked six and allowed three hits over 4.2 scoreless innings. Walker Buehler took his first collegiate loss after giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits over four innings. Steven Rice pitched a career-high four innings scattering two hits over his four scoreless frames.
Vanderbilt hosts Florida this weekend at Hawkins Field in the Commodores' first Southeastern Conference home series of the season. The Dores and Gators play Friday night at 6:30 p.m. on FSN-Florida, Saturday at 6 p.m. on CSS and Sunday at noon. Left-hander Kevin Ziomek (5-0) gets the ball Friday night against Florida freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (2-1).