March 23, 2012
Nashville, Tenn. - Georgia used a solo home run and stellar pitching to edge Vanderbilt 1-0 Friday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (7-15, 0-4) mounted a ninth inning rally with back-to-back singles form Conrad Gregor and Spencer Navin with one out. Georgia (17-6, 3-1) closer Blake Dieterich eventually struck out freshman Vince Conde after a lengthy at-bat for the second out. The game came to an abrupt end with Connor Harrell at the plate and a 1-1 count when Navin was thrown at second base in an attempted double steal.
The game's lone run came in the fourth inning when Curt Powell blasted a home run over the left-center field bleachers to lead off the frame. The hit stood as the 17th-ranked Bulldogs' only hit until a pair of singles in the ninth inning. Georgia had only seven base runners on the night and was outhit by the Dores 7-3. Vandy failed to score with runners in scoring position four times in the game, including twice with a runner on third, stranding a total of six base runners. Gregor and Navin each had two hits to lead Vanderbilt.
Georgia reliever Bryan Benzor (3-0) picked up the win working 2.1 innings and fanning five batters. Commodores' starter Kevin Ziomek (2-3) was the tough-luck loser allowing one hit on one run with six strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Drew VerHagen worked 3.2 scoreless innings for the Dores out of the bullpen. Bulldogs' starter Alex Wood turned in 4.1 innings before being chased by a rain delay in the fifth.
The loss is the fifth straight for Vanderbilt marking the first time since 2008 the Commodores have dropped five in a row. The shutout loss is the first of the season and first shutout loss at home since a 2-0 loss to South Carolina in 2010. The two teams sat through a one hour, three minute rain delay before resuming in the fifth inning.
First pitch tomorrow for the Commodores and Bulldogs is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Hawkins Field. Vandy sends freshman Tyler Beede to the mound to face Georgia's Michael Palazzone.