ATHENS, Ga. - For the second straight contest, VU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and then rode a 12 strikeout complete game effort by Mike Minor to defeat No. 13 Georgia, 9-2, Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
The Commodores (31-20, 12-13 SEC) took the season series for the third time in the past four years, while the Bulldogs (33-17, 14-12 SEC) dropped their seventh consecutive contest and third straight league series.
"Mike did a great job of mixing his pitches against a good hitting Georgia team," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "He just kept shutting them down and taking the air out of them and that was big. I thought Giobbi (Andrew) did a very nice job of calling the game behind the plate."
Minor (5-4) threw his first complete game of the season, limiting the Bulldogs to just two runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts and two walks.
"We worked on locating the fastball down in the zone and in and out all week and combining that with the three other pitches I can throw helped me out today," said Minor.
Aaron Westlake's hard hit infield single to third scored Reynolds to make it 2-0. After a wild pitch by Alex McRee advanced Casali and Westlake a base, Jason Esposito lined a two-run single to left to make it 4-0.
The Commodores kept the pressure on, scoring a run in the second on a solo homer by Brian Harris, his seventh of the year, and then two more in the third on sacrifice flies by Andrew Giobbi and Esposito to make it 7-0.
"I was pleased with the team at bats early in the game, we were moving runners around with opportunistic hitting," said Corbin. "Scoring early was definitely a confidence booster."
Minor held the Bulldogs hitless until the fourth when Colby May led off with a single to left. He would later score on Joey Lewis' RBI double to left, UGA's third hit of the inning, to break up the shutout.
The Bulldogs would not record another hit until the eighth inning when Levi Hyams singled to right with one out. Pinch-hitter Zach Cone laced a triple down the left-field line to score Hyams to make it 7-2. He was stranded at third, however, as Minor struck out Matt Cerione and Colby May to end the inning.
VU plated two more runs in the ninth to extend the lead to 9-2. Steven Liddle drew a one-out walked and after a strikeout, Aaron Westlake singled to left-center. Liddle advanced to third and then scored when second baseman David Thoms dropped a relay throw trying to cut down Westlake advancing at second. Andrew Giobbi then capped off the scoring with a RBI single to left-center.
Casali and Westlake both had three hits to lead the Dores, while Brian Harris and Riley Reynolds added two each from the top of the lineup.
Alex McRee (4-2) gave up seven runs on eight hits in six innings with five strikeouts and two walks in the losing effort.
The teams will close out the three game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. CT. Junior right-hander Drew Hayes (4-2, 4.22 ERA) will start on the mound for VU, while UGA will counter with junior right-hander Justin Grimm (2-3, 4.42 ERA).