Athens, Ga. -
Georgia edged Vanderbilt 5-4 Thursday night to take the series opener at Foley Field.
The Commodores took an early lead scoring three runs in the second inning and tacked on one more with Aaron Westlake's solo homer in the third. However, the Bulldogs battled back to tie the game in the sixth inning on a bases loaded walk. The Bulldogs took the lead in the seventh after Kyle Farmer greeted Vandy reliever Will Clinard with a double down the left field line and came around to score on a bases loaded wild pitch.
Georgia starter Michael Palazzone pitched a complete game allowing four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts for his ninth win of the season. The right-hander shutdown the Dores for the final six frames retiring 18 of the final 19 batters he faced. Commodores' reliever Will Clinard was pinned with the loss giving up the go-ahead run in the seventh. Vanderbilt starter Sonny Gray was roughed up for a season-high four runs on nine hits over six innings.
Westlake paced the Commodores' offense with three of the team's eight hits. Jason Esposito saw his 38-game on-base streak come to an end with a 0-for-4 performance. Peter Verdin led the Bulldogs with three hits from the bottom of the lineup, including his first home run of the year. Curt Powell and Kyle Farmer each added two hits for Georgia.
The loss marks the first time this season that Vanderbilt hast lost consecutive games. The Commodores and South Carolina fell one game behind Florida for the Southeastern Conference lead. Alabama topped the Gamecocks 2-1 and the Gators beat Kentucky 9-6.
The Dores turn to Grayson Garvin tomorrow night in the second game of the series with Georgia countering with lefty Alex Wood. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. CT.
Registration is now open for Summer 2011 Baseball Camps. Please click here to sign up or to find out additional information about the camps led by Head Coach Tim Corbin.