April 20, 2014
Fayetteville, Ark. - No. 18 Vanderbilt could not overcome an early deficit in Sunday's 3-1 loss at Arkansas.
Commodores' (29-12, 8-10) starter Tyler Ferguson struggled out of the gate with his command in the first inning. The big right-hander allowed a pair of singles and threw a wild pitch to put the two runners in scoring position before recording an out. The Dores caught a break when Joe Serrano hit a one-hopper to Xavier Turner, who threw home for the first out of the inning. Ferguson, however, could not take advantage of the opportunity, hitting the next batter to load the bases. The right-hander appeared to be on his way to working out of the jam after a strikeout but he walked Eric Fisher to force in the game's first run.
Ferguson again found trouble of his own doing in the fifth when he hit the leadoff batter and walked the next two put two Razorbacks on base with no outs. The walk ended Ferguson's afternoon and started Adam Ravenelle's, who quickly recorded the first out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt. With runners on second and third a passed ball by Jason Delay allowed a run to score and Brian Anderson's single to left pushed the Arkansas (25-16, 9-9) lead to three runs.
The Vanderbilt offense tried to get back in the game in the latter innings but left six runners on base over the final four frames. Consecutive one-out singles from Ro Coleman and Dansby Swanson were wiped out by a double play in the sixth, but Bryan Reynolds finally got Vandy on the board in the seventh when he led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. Singles from John Norwood and Zander Wiel later in the seventh put the tying runs aboard, but Jason Delay fouled out to end the threat.
The Commodores' final rally came in the eighth when the team loaded the bases with two outs against Arkansas closer Michael Gunn. Nolan Rogers drilled a line drive to right field but it was directly at right fielder Andrew Benintendi, who made the catch to end the inning.
Ferguson took the loss for VU allowing three runs on three hits over four-plus innings. The right-hander walked two and hit two batters in his third loss of the season. Ravenelle was sharp out of the pen working a career-best four innings. Swanson led the way for the Vandy offense with a pair of singles and Reynolds' home run was his team-best third of the year.
Arkansas starter Chris Oliver picked up the win giving up one run on six hits over 6.2 innings. Gunn finished off his sixth save despite two walks over his 1.1 innings.
Vanderbilt returns to action on Tuesday night in Jackson, Tenn. when the Commodores take on Memphis at 6:30 p.m. at Generals Park.