May 16, 2009
||Photo by Steve Green|
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Cody Hawn's two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning sparked Tennessee to a 9-7 win over Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores ended the regular season with a 31-24 overall mark and 12-17 record in Southeastern Conference action. Kentucky's 13-9 loss to Florida eliminated them from SEC tourney consideration, allowing VU to finish in eighth place.
Vanderbilt will take on SEC co-champion LSU (41-15, 20-10 SEC) in the No. 1 vs. No. 8 seed game on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Hoover, Ala.
The Vols swept the three-game series for the first time in Nashville since the league went to the three-game format in 1976. UT ended its season with a 26-29 overall record and 11-19 mark in league play.
Kentrail Davis singled to lead off the tenth and Hawn followed with a homer off the scoreboard in left field to give the Vols a 9-7 lead. It was his third homer of the weekend and 22nd of the year.
The Commodores had two guys on in the 10th, but Brian Harris popped out to end the game. Matt Ramsey recorded his third save of the weekend, while Will Locante picked up his second win of the weekend in relief. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three.
Vanderbilt had a lead in every game and left 30 men on base in the three games.
"I am frustrated that we weren't able to hold the lead in some of these games this weekend," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "We didn't play winning baseball this weekend and Tennessee had something to do with that because they made things happen."
Vanderbilt took advantage of Aaron Tullo's wildness in the first to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Tullo walked the first three batters of the game before Aaron Westlake hit a deep fly to left to bring in the first run. Andrew Giobbi then singled to left to score another and the final run came on a double steal with runners at first and third. Jonathan White, who reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and as he did Curt Casali came in from third and slid in safe past the sweeping tag of catcher Blake Forsythe.
VU made it 4-0 in the second when Jason Esposito singled with one out, stole second, and scored on a RBI single through the right side by Steven Liddle.
The Vols got on the board in the third when Jarred Frazier led off with a solo homer to center off of Drew Hayes. Cody Hawn added a RBI single later in the frame to make it 4-2.
Lightning and rain in the area caused the field crew to bring the tarp out at 1:10 p.m. and the game was delayed two hours and 54 minutes before restarting at 4:04 p.m.
The delay brought an end to the afternoon for both starting pitchers. Hayes gave up two runs on three hits in three innings of work with two strikeouts and two walks. Tullo allowed four runs on three hits in two innings with three walks for the Vols.
UT tied the game in the fifth scoring two runs, with the key hit coming on Cody Hawn's single to center field.
Aaron Westlake's three run homer in the bottom of the fifth put VU back on top 7-4. It was his seventh homer of the year as the Redding, Calif., native finished the regular season with a league leading .382 batting average.
The Vols rallied to tie the game with three runs in the seventh with Jarred Frazier and Zach Osborne coming up with RBI singles.
Nick Christiani took the loss to drop to 5-5 on the year. He allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of work with three strikeouts and no walks.
Brian Harris and Steven Liddle both had two hits each to lead VU, while Hawn paced the Vols with four hits and four RBI.
"I want to give them (Tennessee) credit because they came in here with nothing to lose and they outplayed us," said Corbin. "We need to sleep this weekend off and get ready for the SEC Tournament."
Tennessee 002 020 300 2 - 9 15 1
Vanderbilt 310 030 000 0 - 7 10 1
Tullo, Wiltz (3), McCray (6), Locante (8), Ramsey (10) and Forsythe. Hayes, Reid (4), Cotham (7), Christiani (9) and Giobbi. W- Locante 3-1, L- Christiani 5-5. Sv- HR: UT: Frazier (1), Hawn (22)