Commodores cruise by Blue Raiders

April 2, 2013

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Nashville, Tenn. - No. 3 Vanderbilt pounded out 12 hits en route to a 12-3 win over Middle Tennessee State Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (26-4) and Blue Raiders (16-15) were tied 1-1 headed into the bottom of the third inning when Vince Conde busted the game open. With the bases loaded and two down the sophomore belted his first career grand slam into the left field bleachers to put the home team in front for good. The Dores' offense did not stop there, piling on seven runs over the next four frames. The offense collected at least one hit in seven of the team's eight at-bats and had at least one base runner in all eight. Clutch hitting with two-outs was the theme of the night as the home team went 5-for-13 with seven RBI. Conde's slam in the third came with two outs and was just the beginning. The two-out magic struck again in the sixth with Mike Yastrzemski driving in a run with a single. Connor Harrell's two-out, two-run single through the left side of the infield capped a two-out, three-run rally in the seventh inning.

Nine Commodores had at least one hit with Yastrzemski, John Norwood and Xavier Turner leading the way with two-hit nights. Turner scored a career-best four runs and knocked in a pair of runs in the win. Harrell upped his season total to 37 RBI, driving in three runs on the night. Trent Miller led MTSU with two hits.

Steven Rice (2-0) entered the game in the fifth inning and retired the first six batters he faced before allowing a single in the seventh. The lefty turned in 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the victory out of the bullpen. Starter Tyler Ferguson struggled early with command but settled down to pitch 4.1 innings. The freshman forced in a run with three straight walks in the second inning before bouncing back to retire seven straight Blue Raiders. MTSU starter Jordan Cooper (2-2) took the loss giving up four runs on one hit and four walks over 2.1 innings.

Vanderbilt hits the road this weekend with a trip to No. 17 Ole Miss. The visit to Oxford, Miss. will be the first for the Commodores since 2008. Kevin Ziomek (5-1) gets the ball for the Dores on Friday night against Rebels' ace right-hander Bobby Wahl (6-0) with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.



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