April 11, 2008
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Trailing 7-5 in the sixth, Vanderbilt exploded for nine runs over the next two innings en route to a 15-8 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.
Vanderbilt snapped a three-game conference losing streak to improve to 22-10 overall and 6-6 in Southeastern Conference action. Mississippi State fell to 14-19 and 3-10 in league action.
Brad French started the rally in the sixth with a lead off single and scored on Shea Robin's double into the left-center field gap. After a pitching change and fly out, David Macias singled to center to score Robin. He then stole second and moved to third on a single by Steven Liddle. Pedro Alvarez drew a four-pitch walk and Macias scored on the fourth ball that got away from State catcher Johnny Allen. Dominic de la Osa added a RBI double to close out the inning.
The Dores then broke open the game with a five-run seventh, the big hit coming on a pinch-hit three-run homer by Parker Hanks. It was his third of the year and first with runners on base. Brian Harris had a RBI double for the first run in the inning and Macias singled before Hanks' homer made it 13-7. Alvarez doubled and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Connor Powers for the final run in the inning.
MSU scored a run on a RBI single by Andy Rice in the bottom of the eighth, but David Macias got it right back in the top of the ninth on a homer to left-center, his sixth of the year. It was VU's third round-tripper of the game and the team also recorded its conference high in hits with 18.
Mike Minor (4-2) gave up seven runs on nine hits in six innings with six strikeouts and three walks in the winning effort. He rebounded from a rough start in which he gave up at least a run in the first four innings and closed out with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth.
Macias led the Commodores with four hits on the night with Alvarez and de la Osa adding three of their own. Flaherty, French and Robin each added two hits with eight of the nine starters recording at least one hit on the night.
"We definitely have huge momentum going into tomorrow," said Flaherty. "Obviously we can't take the runs, but we can take the momentum. This was good for our confidence because it showed that we can come back on the road after trailing twice by four runs."
Third baseman Connor Powers' two-run home run with two outs in the first gave the Bulldogs an early 2-0 lead.
Ryan Flaherty cut the lead in half with a solo homer to left-center in the top of the second. It was his team-leading seventh round tripper of the year.
MSU scored two more runs with two outs in the second, courtesy of a bloop two-run single down the rightfield line by Nick Hardy. Minor had control issues giving up two walks in the inning.
Tyler Moore's solo homer to left-center extended the lead to 5-1.
The Commodores plated two unearned runs in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-3. Shea Robin came through with a two-out two-run double down the leftfield line on an 0-2 pitch from Crosswhite.
Powers added a two-run double with two-outs in the fifth to push the lead back up to 7-3.
VU came back with two of its own with two outs in the sixth to cut the lead to 7-5. Pedro Alvarez singled to left and moved to second on a walk to Ryan Flaherty. Dominic de la Osa brought Alvarez home with a RBI single up the middle for the first run and Flaherty would score on a passed ball for the Dores fifth run of the game.
Vanderbilt and Mississippi State will play game two tomorrow at 2 p.m. Redshirt freshman right-hander Caleb Cotham will throw for VU, while Mississippi State will counter with sophomore right-hander Ricky Bowen.
Vanderbilt 010 224 501 -15 18 1
Mississippi State 221 200 010 -8 11 2
Minor, Brewer (7), Bierman (8), Lamm (9) and Robin. Crosswhite, Busby (6), Wilson (7) and Allen. W- Minor 4-2, L- Busby 0-3. Sv- None. HR: VU: Flaherty (7), Hanks (3), Macias (6) MSU: Powers (11), Moore (7)