April 5, 2014
Knoxville, Tenn. - Tennessee rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to beat No. 7 Vanderbilt 10-9 Saturday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium to even the series.
Commodores' (25-7, 6-5) closer Carson Fulmer was brought in to pitch the bottom of the ninth with the Dores clinging to a 9-8 lead. The right-hander found trouble quick against Scott Price, who was awarded first base on ball four after the home plate umpire ruled Fulmer licked his hand and went straight to the baseball prompting an automatic ball. Fulmer rebounded to get the out at second base on an attempted sacrifice bunt and struck out Taylor Smart for the second out. Fulmer then walked Christin Stewart and hit pinch hitter Tyler Schultz to load the bases. Nathaniel Maggio ended the game with a two-run single to left on a 3-2 pitch as Bryan Reynolds' throw home was just high enough to allow the winning run to slide under Jason Delay's tag.
The game was a wild and ugly game for much of the night as the two teams played for nearly four hours and combined for eight errors. The Commodores looked to be in control in the fourth inning after scoring two runs to take a 5-2 lead but the Volunteers (20-9, 4-7) rallied for six runs in the bottom half of the inning to take their first lead of the night.
Vanderbilt bounced back immediately in the fifth with four runs. Dansby Swanson led off the inning with a walk and Bryan Reynolds reached on an error. After a Vince Conde single loaded the bases, Nolan Rogers pushed the first run of the inning across with a sacrifice fly to center field. Jason Delay then delivered a pinch hit two-run double to tie the game before John Norwood capped the rally with a RBI-single to center field to put VU back in front.
Given the lead, Hayden Stone settled in in relief, working three scoreless innings before handing the ball off to Brian Miller, who worked a scoreless eighth inning.
Vanderbilt matched the team's season-high with five errors in the game as Tennessee took advantage of the mistakes with six unearned runs on the night.
Conde set career-bests with four hits, three runs scored and two stolen bases to lead Vandy. The junior blasted his second home run of the season with a solo shot to straight away center field in the fourth and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Xavier Turner pushed his hitting streak to 19 games with his first career home run in the third inning. Swanson extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an infield single in the third as well.
Fulmer took his first loss of the season after giving up the winning run in the ninth. Vanderbilt starter Jared Miller could not get out of the fourth inning with the lefty allowing seven runs, two earned, on six hits in three-plus innings. Stone turned in four solid innings of relief allowing one unearned run on one hit. Bret Marks picked up the win by recording the final two outs of the ninth inning for Tennessee.
The two teams square off in the rubber match tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT. The Commodores turn to right-hander Tyler Ferguson with the Volunteers handing the ball to right-handed freshman Kyle Serrano.