April 28, 2013
NASHVILLE -- No. 3 Vanderbilt finished off the team's seventh sweep of the season with an 8-3 victory over No. 16 Mississippi State Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (39-6, 19-2) made a statement in the first inning sending 10 men to the plate to score five runs and take a commanding lead. Tony Kemp led off with a double to left field and came around to score on Conrad Gregor's two-run single. Three straight singles from Vince Conde, Spencer Navin and Jack Lupo quickly made it 5-0 Vanderbilt. The offensive barrage chased Mississippi State (33-13, 10-11) starter Jacob Lindgren just seven batters into the game. The Dores did not slow down in the second inning, taking advantage of a Bulldogs' error with two outs. Connor Harrell reached on the error and Gregor followed with a walk in front of Zander Wiel. The redshirt freshman made the visitors pay with a two-run single to make it 7-0 Vandy in the second.
With an early lead in his back pocket, Vanderbilt starter T.J. Pecoraro (2-1) cruised through the Mississippi State lineup. The right-hander retired 10 straight Bulldogs at one point en route to his second win of the season. Pecoraro finally ran into trouble in the fifth inning when C.T. Bradford and Nick Ammirati singled to start the inning. But a fly out to center field, a heads up play by third baseman Xavier Turner and a ground out to first ended the inning with another zero in the run column. The Bulldogs got on the board in the sixth when Pecoraro walked the first two batters of the inning and Brett Pirtle singled to score a run. Pecoraro allowed one run on four hits and three walks over five-plus innings in his longest outing of the season.
The series sweep is a Vanderbilt record fifth sweep in Southeastern Conference play and sets the SEC mark for the best record through 21 games at 19-2. The Dores improved to 27-3 at Hawkins Field and 9-1 against teams in the Top 25.
Gregor led the way for the Commodores going 3-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. The junior crushed his second home run of the season with a solo blast over the right field bleachers in the seventh inning. Tony Kemp added two runs and Connor Harrell scored twice in the victory.
Lindgren (4-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs allowing five runs on three hits while recording two outs in the first inning. Pirtle had two hits and two RBI to lead the way for the Mississippi State offense.
Vanderbilt will not play a midweek game and returns to action next Friday at No. 15 South Carolina.