NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Vanderbilt scored seven runs in the fifth inning to rally from a 5-4 deficit and went on to a 15-7 win over Middle Tennessee Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores snapped a two-game non-conference losing streak to move to 22-13, while the Blue Raiders dropped to 24-9 on the season.
Curt Casali walked to lead off the fifth and moved to third on a single by Aaron Westlake. Jason Esposito hit a RBI single that bounced off the pitcher and stayed in the infield. Joe Loftus then doubled to right-center to score Westlake. Brian Harris walked, Esposito scored on a wild pitch and Riley Reynolds added a sacrifice bunt RBI to make it 8-4. Andrew Giobbi then capped off the inning with a three-run homer to left-center, his second round-tripper of the year.
"We've had a big inning in every one of our wins and I think that's important and certainly something to continue in the future," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin.
VU added two more runs in the sixth with Giobbi adding a RBI single. He finished the night 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
MTSU scored a run in the seventh on Bryce Brentz' solo homer to straight-away center, his 16th blast of the season. He finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Blue Raiders.
Riley Reynolds extended his hit streak to 17 games with a RBI double in the eighth. He later scored on a fielding error to close out the 15 run, 15 hit night for the Dores.
Sonny Gray moved to 3-0 after allowing one run on four hits in 1.2 innings of relief with three strikeouts and a walk. Richie Goodenow made his first collegiate start and gave up four runs on five hits in a career-high 3.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
Sean Bierman allowed one run on one hit in three innings of relief with four strikeouts and a walk and Taylor Hill closed out the game allowing a run on a Brentz RBI double while striking out three.
The Blue Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, scoring all of the runs with two outs against VU starter Richie Goodenow. Rawley Bishop had a RBI single, Ben Darlington a RBI double and Ben Hudson a RBI single to account for the runs.
The Commodores, who were shutout 8-0 last Tuesday in Murfreesboro, rallied right back to tie the game in the bottom half. Andrew Giobbi led off with a single, stole second with one out and scored on Aaron Westlake's RBI single to left-center. Westlake scored on a RBI single by Jason Esposito and Joe Loftus drove in the third run with a double to left-center.
"This game is certainly a different game than last week's against MTSU," said Corbin. The three runs we got in the bottom of the first definitely got us going a bit. They were tough to put down though."
VU took a 4-3 lead in the third when Steven Liddle walked, moved to third on a single by Curt Casali and scored on Westlake's sacrifice fly RBI to right.
The Blue Raiders scored two runs in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead on a RBI triple by Nathan Hines and a RBI single by Bryce Brentz.
The Commodores will play Morehead State Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Junior right-hander Drew Hayes will get the start on the mound (2-2, 5.40 ERA) in the final game before Alabama comes to town for a three-game series.