Nashville, Tenn. -
No. 3 Vanderbilt manufactured some early offense to beat cross-town rival Lipscomb 4-1 Tuesday afternoon at a chilly Hawkins Field.
With temperatures in the 30s for the eighth time this season at Hawkins Field the Commodores (22-4) had to produce their own heat on offense. After the Bisons (9-17) scored a run in the second inning the Vandy offense warmed up to take the lead in the third. Chris Harvey led off the frame with a double and moved to third on Tony Kemp's single to left-center field. Conrad Gregor's sacrifice fly tied the game and Kemp scored one batter later on a balk to put the Dores up for good.
In the fourth with the bases loaded the Commodores pushed another run across with a triple steal. With the left-handed Mike Yastrzemski in the batter's box and Lipscomb's right-handed pitcher Jacob Knott on the mound, freshman Xavier Turner took off from third and slid in ahead of the tag to steal home with Jack Lupo and Kemp swiping third and second to complete the triple steal. The triple steal is the first for the Dores since the SEC Tournament last spring against Florida.
Freshman Tyler Ferguson (2-0) worked 4.2 innings out of the bullpen to earn the win. The outing was Ferguson's first since March 5 vs. Eastern Illinois but the freshman showed little signs of rust, allowing no runs and striking out three. T.J. Pecoraro made his first appearance since February 17 pitching two innings. The right-hander allowed one run on one hit and three walks before being lifted for Ferguson. Brian Miller finished off the victory tossing 2.1 scoreless innings for his eighth save. The three Vandy hurlers combined to hold the Bisons to just two hits. Knott took the loss for Lipscomb giving up three runs on three hits and five walks over 4.2 innings.
For the third straight game the VU defense made no errors and improved to 11-0 this season when not committing an error. The game also marked the 10th time this season Vanderbilt pitchers have held opposing teams to one run or less.
The Commodores return to Southeastern Conference action this weekend at Hawkins Field when Tennessee visits Nashville. The Dores and Volunteers play Friday night at 6:30 p.m., Saturday night at 6 p.m. on CSS and Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.