NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alabama rallied from a 5-3 deficit with four runs in the sixth inning to defeat Vanderbilt 7-6 in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday night at Hawkins Field.
The Crimson Tide swept the twinbill and series to improve to 27-13 overall and 10-8 in Southeastern Conference play.
Vanderbilt got swept in a conference series at home for the first time since Florida ended the 2005 regular season with a sweep to claim the SEC crown. VU dropped to 23-16 overall and 7-10 in league action.
"I thought in the first game we didn't come out with the right mind set and I thought we pitched poorly," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin when asked about the doubleheader. "In the second game I thought we pitched ok with Hayes out there. The sixth inning was a disaster because we gave them four chances in a row. We didn't come up with the double play, we didn't cover the six-hole and then we threw a bunt away.
Trailing 5-3 in the sixth, Jake Smith led off the rally with a solo homer to left-center off of Taylor Hill to make it 5-4. Wes Henderson hit a one-out single to right, but was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice to short by Alex Kubal. Taylor Dugas singled through the left side and Kubal advanced to third. Josh Rutledge then tried a squeeze bunt and catcher Andrew Giobbi fielded it and threw wide of first base allowing Kubal to score. Russell Brewer came on in relief and Ross Wilson hit a bloop double down the right field line to score two more to make it 7-5.
Vanderbilt did not score until the ninth when Brian Harris hit a one out homer to left to cut the lead to 7-6. Jason Esposito walked and Riley Reynolds singled to put the tying run in scoring position. Jake Smith, who played third base all weekend and then came on in relief in the sixth, struck out pinch-hitter Richie Goodenow looking and then got Andrew Giobbi to ground out to short to end the game.
Reynolds led the Dores with three hits on the day, while Harris, Westlake and Loftus added two hits each.
Jake Smith pitched the final 3.2 innings for Bama and allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk to pick up his first save and the team's first SEC save of the season.
Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the second on a RBI single by Wes Henderson. Jake Smith doubled down the left field line and then scored with two outs on Henderson's single to right.
The Commodores plated two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Alex McClure singled with one out and moved to third on a double to left-center by Andrew Giobbi. Steven Liddle's grounder to the right side scored McClure and Aaron Westlake singled home Giobbi to make it 2-1.
Kyle Moore's solo homer in the fifth tied the game at 2-2. The Tide then took the lead when reliever Chase Reid hit Kent Matthes with the bases loaded.
Vanderbilt plated three runs in the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. Brian Harris had a two-run double and later scored on a wild pitch by reliever Tyler White.
Drew Hayes gave up three runs on four hits in 4.2 innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. Taylor Hill (1-1) was charged with the loss after giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits in 0.2 innings with a strikeout.
Brewer pitched the final 3.1 innings for VU, allowing two hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
The Commodores will hit the road for a pair of midweek games this week starting with a Tuesday night contest at Austin Peay at 6 p.m. VU will then travel north to face Louisville on Wednesday at 5 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. ET. The Dores will be back at home next weekend as Mississippi State comes to town for a three-game series.