No. 2 Vanderbilt scored three runs in the second inning en route to a 5-2 series-clinching win over No. 16 Mississippi State on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
After waiting over four hours for first pitch, the two teams traded runs in the first inning on a rain-soaked field. The Commodores' (38-6, 18-2) took control in the second inning with a three-run rally. Vince Conde opened the inning with a double and moved to second on Jack Lupo's team-best 17th sacrifice bunt of the season. Tony Kemp followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners for Xavier Turner. The freshman did his part of a hit-and-run hitting a ball to Mississippi State (33-12, 10-10) second baseman Brett Pirtle, who was on the move to cover second. Pirtle misplayed the grounder, allowing Turner to reach, Conde to score and put the Dores in front for good. The error also allowed Kemp to move to third and one batter later Mike Yastrzemski cashed in on the opportunity with a RBI-ground out. Zander Wiel capped the rally, lifting a RBI-single to right field.
With a three-run lead in the second inning, Tyler Beede went to work. The sophomore allowed a leadoff triple to Adam Frazier in the third but limited the damage to only one run to preserve the Vandy lead. Beede again fought off a Mississippi State rally in the fifth. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out before Beede responded with a strikeout and a ground ball to third base to end the inning and the threat. Beede worked around a leadoff walk in the sixth inning before handing it off to the bullpen. Jared Miller and Carson Fulmer locked the victory down with three combined scoreless innings. Fulmer notched his third save of the season with his 1.2 innings of work.
Beede moved to 11-0 in 11 starts this season with six solid innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts to clinch the Commodores' 11th straight series victory of the season. The win for Beede also matches David Price's school-best 11-0 start from 2007. Beede's 11 wins this season match Price's total for fifth-most in a single season by a Commodore.
Kemp led the way for the Dores at the plate with his second four-hit game of the season. The Dores' second baseman reached base five times on the day - singling three times, walking once and adding his fifth triple of the season. Kemp now has 20 career triples to leave him one shy of the Southeastern Conference record held by Florida's Brian Duva. Yastrzemski added two hits and two RBI in the win.
Mississippi State starter Kendall Graveman (5-4) was pegged with the loss allowing four runs, two earned, on 10 hits over five innings. Frazier and Alex Detz led the way for the Bulldogs' offense with two hits apiece.
Vanderbilt will go for its seventh series sweep of the season tomorrow with T.J. Pecoraro (1-1) on the mound against Bulldogs' southpaw Jacob Lindgren (4-1). First pitch is set of 1 p.m.