Baton Rouge, La. - Vanderbilt evened the series with No. 4 LSU with a 6-3 win in front of 11,130 fans at Alex Box Stadium Saturday night.
The Commodores (25-25, 12-14) scratched out a run in the third inning and never trailed. Tony Kemp singled with one out and stole second before scoring on Anthony Gomez's two-out single. The Dores then pushed the lead to three runs with a two-run sixth. An error helped score the first run and Jack Lupo's RBI-single scored Connor Castellano for a three-run advantage. The Tigers clawed back into the game with a run in the bottom of the inning when Jordy Snikeris came through with a run-scoring, two-out single.
Vandy threatened to blow the game open in the seventh when the first three batters of the inning all reached base. Gomez scored a run on a wild pitch that also put runners at second and third base with no outs but the Tigers bullpen responded with a groundout and two strikeouts to end the threat. The Commodores kept the pressure on, scoring two more runs in the eighth to take a 6-1 lead. Kemp walked with one out and stole second, one of the Dores' five stolen bases on the night, and again came around to score on a Gomez base hit this one a double into the left-center field gap. Gregor scored Gomez with a single to left one batter later.
LSU (39-12, 17-9) attempted to get back in the game scoring twice in the eighth but Will Clinard worked out of a jam in the eighth then turned in a scoreless ninth to notch his third save of the season.
Sam Selman (8-3) was strong over five-plus innings giving up just one run on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts. The left-hander picked up an inning-ending double play to end the first inning then used a strike out, caught stealing double play to end the fifth inning. LSU starter Aaron Nola (6-3) was pinned with the loss allowing three runs, two earned, on nine hits with six strikeouts over 5.1 innings.
The win clinched a spot in the Southeastern Conference Tournament for Vanderbilt and was the team's third win against a Top 5 team this season.
The Commodores and Tigers will decide the series tomorrow afternoon with game time scheduled for 1 p.m. on FSN. Vandy turns to freshman Tyler Beede (1-4) with the Tigers sending Ryan Eades (5-2) to the hill.