April 15, 2012
Vanderbilt scored 11 runs, four Vanderbilt players registered multiple hits, and Commodore starter Kevin Ziomek pitched six-plus strong innings in route to a series-clinching 11-2 win over Auburn Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores move to 16-20 on the season and 6-9 in league play in their second SEC series win of the season, while Auburn falls to 19-16, 7-8 in SEC competition.
Ziomek, making his first Sunday start of the season, looked right at home, going six and two-thirds, giving up two runs, only one of them earned, striking out seven and walking four in 103 total pitches. Freshman Philip Pfeifer cleaned up the Commodore win, pitching the rest of the way by allowing only two hits and no runs.
The Commodores' top four players in the lineup accounted for seven hits and six RBI, with left fielder Tony Kemp and second baseman Anthony Gomez leading the way with three hits apiece. Kemp had a triple and two singles and scored two runs, while Gomez added a double and two singles while also scoring two runs.
The Commodores got on the board first and made the score 1-0 when VU designated hitter Chris Harvey began the second inning with a double off of the green monster in left and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Lupo. With one out, third baseman Vince Conde lifted a fly ball into the limited Hawkins Field right field foul territory that was caught by Tiger rightfielder Jay Gonzalez, but was deep enough to score Harvey from third.
A Joel McKeithan-walk and then a single by Tony Kemp later in the second put runners on the corners with two outs, and Anthony Gomez added two more runs for the Commodores with a towering double off of the top of the green monster in left to make the score 3-0. Vanderbilt's three-run second inning came on three hits.
The Commodores added to their total in the third with another run. Mike Yastrzemski raked a triple to right-center field to begin the inning that chased starter Daniel Koger from the game, and Spencer Navin drove home Yastrzemski with a hard-hit single to centerfield.
The Tigers tallied an unearned run in the fourth to make the score 4-1 after Garrett Cooper scored on a two-out Creede Simpson single to left. Earlier in the inning, VU shortstop Joel McKeithan bobbled a double-play ground ball from Cooper.
An infield single by McKeithan began another rally for Vanderbilt in the fourth, with Kemp driving in the Commodore shortstop with a laser-beam triple to right-center to make the score 5-1. On the next pitch, Gomez knocked in Kemp with an RBI single to push the VU lead to 6-1, and then Gomez, who advanced to second on a walk to Conrad Gregor, scored from second base on a fielder's choice by Yastrzemski to cap the Vanderbilt inning, giving the Commodores a 7-1 lead.
The Commodores scored their eighth run of the game in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by McKeithan, his second hit of the day, which drove in Jack Lupo, who doubled down the left field line to begin the inning.
Gomez scored Vanderbilt's ninth run after reaching base in the sixth inning on his third base hit of the game on a Yastrzemski sacrifice fly that was caught at the wall by Tiger rightfielder Jay Gonzalez. Lupo put VU in double figures with a single that drove in Gregor, and Vince Conde made the score 11-1 after driving in Chris Harvey.
Auburn added their second run in the top of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Ray Tella, which advanced Dillon Ortman across the plate.
Vanderbilt returns to action Tuesday night against Middle Tennessee State at Hawkins Field at 6:30 p.m, and then returns to SEC play next weekend in Tuscaloosa against the Crimson Tide of Alabama.