UPCOMING VANDERBILT BASEBALL GAMES Thurs., May 15, at Florida - 5:30 p.m. CT Fri., May 16, at Florida - 5:30 p.m. CT Sat., May 17, at Florida - 12 p.m. CT
NASHVILLE --- Georgia clinched the Southeastern Conference regular season title with a 12-10 win over Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Bulldogs (33-17-1, 19-7-1 SEC) scored six runs in the second to jump ahead early and withstood a late VU comeback to take the series between the top two teams in the league.
The Commodores (37-15, 15-11 SEC), the defending conference champs, saw their chance for back-to-back regular season titles end with the loss.
"I really thought we were going to come back and win this game," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "We just were too little, too late."
The regular season champion was crowned at Hawkins Field for the third time in four years as Florida won it in 2005, Vanderbilt in 2007 and Georgia in 2008.
"It's really tough," said Shea Robin after the loss. "It is just as hard to take as the first time against Florida. We put ourselves in a tough spot and we have our backs to the wall and just have to win next weekend."
Wind played a significant factor in the game with gusts reaching 35 mph.
Georgia plated six runs in the second to take an early 6-0 lead. Miles Starr had a two-run double and Rich Poythress added a RBI double to lead the way as the Bulldogs had five hits in the frame.
Vanderbilt rallied for four runs in the bottom half to cut the lead to 6-4. Shea Robin led off with a double and scored on a RBI single by Steven Liddle for the first run. Brad French singled and both he and Liddle advanced a base on a wild pitch, before David Macias singled down the left field line. Liddle scored on the play, but Macias was thrown out at second trying to stretch it out to a double. Dominic de la Osa then belted a two-run homer to left-center, his ninth of the year, to make it 6-4.
Matt Cerione's two-run homer to right in the third extended the Bulldog lead to 8-4. UGA added a huge cushion with three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to make it 12-4.
Georgia closer Josh Fields came on in the ninth and got pinch hitter Jonathan White to pop out and Shea Robin to fly out to center for the first two outs. Andrew Giobbi walked and moved to second on catcher's indifference before scoring on Steven Liddle's RBI single to make it 12-10 with the tying run at the plate. Liddle moved to second on another catcher's indifference before Brad French struck out to end the game.
"I felt like we would get them in the end, but we didn't," added Corbin. "I think Georgia is an Omaha team. They might have the Player of the Year at short (Gordon Beckham) who I would describe as a playmaker who makes things happen everytime you need him."
The Commodores will close out the regular season at Florida with a three-game series set to start on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT. The teams will play the second game at 5:30 p.m. on Friday before closing it out on Saturday at Noon CT.