Lexington, Ky. -
No. 2 Vanderbilt swept a doubleheader at Kentucky on Saturday winning the first game 11-3 and the nightcap 5-3 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Commodores (44-6, 23-2) took a 5-2 lead into the ninth inning looking to set the school record for the most Southeastern Conference wins in a season but it was not easy. Freshman Carson Fulmer pitched the Dores out of a big jam in the sixth inning of a one-run game but walked the leadoff batter to start the ninth. The Wildcats (28-21, 10-16) eventually loaded the bases and the Commodores went to the bullpen for lefty Jared Miller. The southpaw was exactly what the Dores ordered, striking out Austin Cousino to end the game and give Vandy its school record 23rd SEC win.
Vandy claimed the lead in the third inning with RBI-singles from Tony Kemp and Conrad Gregor. Chris Harvey made it 3-1 VU in the sixth with a big two-out single through the left side. Mike Yastrzemski provided some insurance in the seventh inning ripping a double over Cousino's head in center field to score Kemp and Turner and push the Dores' lead to 5-2.
Kemp and Gregor led the way with three hits apiece in the second game with Yastrzemski adding two hits of his own. For the day, Kemp went 6-for-10 with back-to-back three-hit games. In the two games Vanderbilt outhit Kentucky 28-16.
Vandy starter Tyler Beede (13-0) matched the school record with his 13th win of the season. The right-hander gutted through 5.1 innings to match Grayson Garvin's school record for wins in a single season. Beede allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits with five walks and five strikeouts. The right-hander struck out the side in the third and worked out of a jam in the fourth inning before running into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. UK starter Kyle Cody (3-3) took the loss allowing three runs on eight hits over six innings.
In the first game, the Commodores took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning when Connor Harrell and Zander Wiel each hit home runs. But the Dores blew it open in the fifth, scoring seven runs on seven hits. Jack Lupo started the rally with the first of four straight hits against Wildcats' starter A.J. Reed. Xavier Turner's RBI-single scored the first run and Mike Yastrzemski followed with a RBI-double. After a Conrad Gregor ground out for the second out scored a run, Zander Wiel added a two-run single. In his second at-bat of the inning, Spencer Navin capped the rally with a two-run single of his own to make it 10-1 headed to the bottom of the fifth.
With a big lead on the scoreboard, Vandy starter Kevin Ziomek settled in and cruised to his 10th win of the season. Ziomek allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits with four strikeouts over six innings. The lefty becomes just the 10th pitcher in Vanderbilt history to win at least 10 games in a single season joining teammate Tyler Beede. The duo is the third pair of VU hurlers to win 10-plus games in the same season joining David Price and Casey Weathers (2007) and Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin (2011).
Walker Buehler worked the final three innings allowing one run on five hits to notch his first career save.
All nine Commodores in the starting lineup had at least one hit led by Tony Kemp's three-hit performance. Harrell belted a pair of homers to push his season total to 10, his second two home run game of the season. Wiel drove in three runs and now has 18 RBI in his 10 starts. J.T. Riddle paced the Wildcats with three hits.
Reed took the loss (2-7) giving up career-highs in hits (12) and runs allowed (10).
Vanderbilt can clinch the SEC regular season title with a win tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. CT. Right-hander T.J. Pecoraro (3-1) gets the ball for the Commodores against lefty Corey Littrell (5-4).