CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - After jumping out to a 5-1 lead, Vanderbilt struggled to collect a timely hit with runners in scoring position, while Austin Peay took advantage of three Commodore miscues to edge the Commodores 9-8 Tuesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Both teams struggled to pick up key hits with runners in scoring position as Vanderbilt (23-17) stranded 13 runners on base in the loss, while Austin Peay (16-21) left 10 on base.
Trailing by two runs in the top of the ninth the `Dores cut the lead to 9-8 when Jason Esposito scored on an RBI single to right field by Steven Liddle.
Vanderbilt cut into the Govs lead again when Brian Harris scored on a sharp RBI single through the left side by Curt Casali, making the score 9-7.
Austin Peay added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh, pushing its lead to 9-6.
The Commodores got one run back in the top of the sixth when Liddle scored on a throw down to second base. Liddle reached base by drawing a one-out walk off AP reliever Ricky Marshall and than went first to third on a Curt Casali single to right center.
Austin Peay took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth when they plated three runs in the inning. The Governors got their first run in the inning when Jared Delong scored on a dribbler to a charging Jason Esposito at third base. Esposito chose to go home with it but his throw to Drew Fann was low, allowing Delong to score. Jon Clinard scored the Govs second run of the inning when he came home on a one-out RBI grounder by Greg Bachman. With the game tied at 5, VU had a chance to get out of the inning with a potential 4-6-3 double-play but AP's Matt Koll beat Brian Harris's throw to first base, allowing Adam Browett to score, giving the Govs a 6-5 lead.
The Govs cut the Vanderbilt lead to two runs when Trey Lucas deposited a pitch from Bierman over the center field wall for a two-run homerun. After giving up three consecutive singles Bierman got AP's Daniel Baggett and Chris Lewellyn to fly out to end the third inning.
Leading 2-1 after the first frame, the Commodores plated three more runs in the top of second when Austin Peay's starting pitcher Jeremy Dobbs struggled with control issues. VU's Andrew Giobbi added the key hit in the inning when he drove a Dobbs fastball into left field scoring Liddle and Brian Harris. All of Vanderbilt's runs came with two outs in the inning. Dobbs didn't help his own cause as he hit two Vanderbilt batters while issuing back-to-back walks to Liddle and Casali in the inning before getting relieved by Ryan Mantooth after throwing 58 pitches in 1.2 innings of work.
Vanderbilt got on the board in the top of the first inning when Giobbi hit a ground ball that got underneath Greg Bachman's glove at third base, scoring Steven Liddle and Curt Casali on the play. Liddle started the first-inning offensive attack with a one-out double to left center and than advanced to third on a wild pitch.
After getting the first two batters to fly out, Austin Peay recorded four straight singles off of VU starter Sean Bierman and trimmed the Vanderbilt lead to 2-1.
Bierman finished the night allowing five runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts in three innings of work.
Nick Christiani (3-3) worked four innings of middle relief Tuesday, allowing four runs, one earned with four strikeouts. Russell Brewer struck out the side in the eighth.
The Commodores will wrap up its non-conference midweek slate tomorrow as they travel north to Kentucky to face Louisville at 5 p.m. CT.
Vanderbilt will send righthander Taylor Hill (1-1, 4.50 ERA) to the mound while Louisville's starter is yet to be determined.