NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt held off a late rally from Auburn Friday night at Hawkins Field to win the series opener 5-4.
The Tigers (18-15, 6-7) rallied for two runs in the eighth inning to close the Commodores' (15-19, 5-8) lead to a single run before freshman right-hander Brian Miller entered with two outs and runners on first and second. Miller struck out pinch hitter Patrick Savage to end the threat in the eighth and worked around a two-out single in the ninth to give Vanderbilt their second Friday night win of the season.
Vandy took the lead in the fourth inning on Jack Lupo's RBI-single through the ride side but Auburn countered with two runs in the fifth to seize the lead. The Commodores answered in the sixth with three runs. A leadoff single from Anthony Gomez followed by a walk to Conrad Gregor put two runners aboard. Riley Reynolds' sacrifice bunt put the runners in scoring position for Spencer Navin, who delivered a two-run single into the right-center field gap. One batter later, Lupo came through again with a single to score Navin and a 4-2 VU lead. Mike Yastrzemski's single in the seventh scored John Norwood for a much-needed insurance run.
Navin led the Dores going 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. The sophomore has now reached base in 14 straight games. Lupo added a pair of RBI-single to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Vandy's offense collected more walks (5) than strikeouts (4) in the win. Dan Glevenyak led the Tigers with two hits and two RBI.
Will Clinard (4-1) earned his team-best fourth win working three innings out of the bullpen. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits and four walks. Auburn starter Derek Varnadore (1-5) was pinned with the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits over six-plus innings. Miller's scoreless outing gave him his third save of the season. Sophomore T.J. Pecoraro started his first game of the season and first since undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery last June. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in 4.2 innings, not allowing a run until the fifth.
Vanderbilt hosts Auburn tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Hawkins Field. Freshman Tyler Beede (1-3) gets the ball for the home team against Tigers' right-hander Jon Luke Jacobs (4-0).