NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt saw its 14-game winning streak come to a halt Friday at Hawkins Field as Alabama defeated the top-ranked Commodores, 5-4 in 10 innings.
Vanderbilt (47-7, 25-3) will have to look to Saturday's rubber match game with Alabama (32-23, 14-14) to try and break the SEC record for most SEC wins in a single season.
The Commodores struck first with a run in the bottom of the first when Tony Kemp led off with a single and came around to score on Mike Yastrzemski's base hit through the left side. Kemp has led off with a hit in six-straight games. VU added a run in the third to make it 2-0 after Conrad Gregor grounded into a double play allowing Yastrzemski to score.
Alabama tied it up in the top of the fourth inning after sloppy play in the field by the Commodores. Kevin Ziomek committed two errors in the inning and walked two batters. VU was able to turn an unconventional double play to get out of the inning, but not until the second run crossed the plate.
After Alabama scored a run in the seventh and eighth innings, Vanderbilt used an eighth inning rally to tie the score at 4-4. The inning started with a leadoff single by Gregor, followed by Kyle Smith getting hit by a pitch. The Commodores then got a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by Andrew Harris moving the runners up 90 feet. With runners on second and third, Vince Conde reached on an error allowing Gregor to score. Spencer Navin then laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Smith.
Georgie Salem delivered the game-winning hit for Alabama in the 10th inning on a single up the middle, scoring Chance Vincent. Vanderbilt got a two-out hit from Navin in the bottom half of the inning but couldn't advance him any further.
Ziomek went five innings in a no decision, while allowing four walks and two runs. Ziomek sat down the first six batters he faced before getting into trouble in the third and fourth innings. The Amherst, Mass., native finished with 10 strikeouts, marking the fifth time this season he has recorded double-digit strikeouts. Carson Fulmer pitched three innings, while giving up four hits, two runs and striking out two. Brian Miller (5-1) took the loss after allowing one run on two hits in 1.2 innings. Jay Shaw (1-1) picked up the win in relief with one scoreless inning.
Vanderbilt was limited to just nine hits on the night. Kemp recorded his sixth-straight multi-hit game after going 2-for-6 at the dish. Yastrzemski and Rhett Wiseman each recorded two hits apiece. Mikey White led the Crimson Tide with three hits and two runs scored.
Vanderbilt and Alabama meet in the final game of the series and regular sason Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Tyler Beede (13-0) takes the bump for the Commodores with the Crimson Tide sending southpaw Taylor Guilbeau (4-1) to the mound.