April 7, 2013
Oxford, Miss. -
No. 2 Vanderbilt needed 11 innings on Sunday to finish a series sweep at No. 17 Ole Miss with a 7-6 victory at Swayze Field.
The Rebels (23-9, 4-8) rallied for two runs off Commodores' (29-4, 11-1) closer Brian Miller in the ninth to tie the game 6-6 before Miller could get the Dores into extra innings. Vandy rallied in the 10th to load the bases but could not score. However, the visitors broke up the tie in the 11th. Connor Harrell's line drive down the third base line bounced off the third base bag and into the left field corner for a double with one out. The senior moved up 90 feet to that same third base on a wild pitch in the dirt but Ole Miss' catcher Stuart Turner tried to nab a sliding Harrell. Turner's throw, however, sailed wide of the third baseman and into left field allowing Harrell to get up to score the go-ahead run. Miller did not waste his second opportunity to close out the series sweep, working a 1-2-3 inning to send the Commodores to their 10th straight victory.
Ole Miss jumped on Vandy early with three runs in the first two innings before the Dores answered with four runs in the fourth to take the lead sending nine men to the plate. Vince Conde's single was the third straight single of the inning and knocked in the first two runs. Spencer Navin's sacrifice fly to right made it 4-3 VU and Tony Kemp reached on an error to score the fourth run of the inning. Conde tacked on another run with his second RBI-double of the day in the fifth. The VU offense struggled through the next five innings leaving seven men on base, leaving a total of 12 on base for the game to push the total to 34 for the weekend. Ole Miss could not cash in on their opportunities either leaving 14 runners on base in the game, leaving at least one runner in eight of the 11 innings.
Navin led the Commodores with a career-high four hits, driving in two runs on the afternoon. Vanderbilt pounded out 17 hits to match a season-best with eight Commodores having at least one hit and four having at least three hits. Harrell, Yastrzemski and Conde all had three hits in the win. Stuart Turner led Ole Miss with four hits in the loss.
Brian Miller earned his fifth win of the season despite his first blown save. The right-hander allowed two runs on two hits in 3.1 innings out of the bullpen. The Dores' pen was superb in the victory allowing two runs on six hits 6.2 innings with three walks. Rebels' closer Brett Huber was saddled with the loss giving up one run on two hits in 2.2 innings.
The series sweep is the fifth of the season for the Commodores and second straight sweep on the road in the Southeastern Conference. The back-to-back sweeps on the road mark the first time since 2008 when the Dores went on the road and swept Mississippi State and Tennessee. Vanderbilt improves to 11-1 in the SEC to set the school record for the best start in conference play, breaking the record of the 1972 team that started 10-2.
Vanderbilt returns to the field on Tuesday night for Pack the Hawk night against UT-Martin. Outfield tickets are only $1 for Tuesday night's tilt with the Skyhawks that starts at 6:30 p.m.