May 21, 2014
Hoover, Ala. - No. 19 Vanderbilt dropped the team's second game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament 11-1 in seven innings vs. No. 14 LSU on Wednesday at The Hoover Met.
The Tigers (41-14-1) took advantage of a Commodores' (41-17) mistake in the fourth inning to score four runs before breaking the game open late. Conner Hale opened the inning with what looked to be a foul out down the right field line but VU right fielder Rhett Wiseman over ran the play and the ball landed harmlessly just foul. Hale took advantage of the extra opportunity on the next pitch, ripping a double into the left field corner to lead off the inning. After a pair of walks and two wild pitches handed LSU the lead, Vanderbilt starter Jared Miller was lifted in favor of freshman Hayden Stone. The right-hander was greeted by a three-run homer off the bat of Alex Bregman to push the Tigers lead to four runs.
LSU padded the lead with another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth before winning the game in the seventh via a 10-run rule. The Tigers scored three runs on four hits in the seventh to end the game early.
Vanderbilt struck first with a run in the first inning. Dansby Swanson led off the game with a double that LSU left fielder Sean McMullen could not track down. Xavier Turner moved Swanson over to third with a sacrifice bunt and Bryan Reynolds came up with a clutch single to right field to score the run. But Tigers' starter Colin Poché wiggled off the hook despite Vince Conde adding a third hit in the inning, giving up only the one run. The lefty settled in from there allowing only one Commodore to reach scoring position the rest of the day.
Miller, in his first start since April 12, took the loss allowing four runs on five hits and three walks over 3.2 innings. Poché earned the win with a complete game effort, giving up one run on five hits over seven innings.
Swanson led the Dores with two of the team's five hits and scored the only run. Mark Laird and Bregman paced the Tigers combining to go 6-for-8 with five runs and seven RBI from the top of the lineup.
Vanderbilt returns to action tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in an elimination game against the loser of Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt Coach Tim Corbin
"You have to credit LSU. They hit the ball well, obviously. The inning for us that changed the complexion of the game was the fourth inning. What could have been a fly ball out early converted into a double and so on. I thought Jared pitched well at the beginning of the game. As the game progressed and as they got base runners, they took some good swings and took advantage of us. (Jared) Poche' pitched well. If there was any momentum for us it was after the four-run inning when we had runners on first and second with one out, and he got us to ground into a double play. You have to credit LSU. They played well."
"(Mark) Laird presents the ability to use his legs and stay inside the ball. He is a good leadoff hitter. He sets the table for them. (Alex) Bregman is full of presence. He has a flat swing. He is a good hitter. You feel hitters like that when they are in the box. He certainly deserves all of credit the coaches give him. He works hard at his craft. He can see the ball well, and he is a very confident young man."
Jared Miller, LHP
"I came out trying to attack and set the pace of the game. I felt good from the start. I got myself into a little bit of trouble, but that is just how baseball plays."
"Obviously, I had success against them earlier in the year, but I came out in attack mode and I know LSU likes to swing the bat. They took some good swings on some pitches that were up in the zone today."
Dansby Swanson, 2B
"He (Jared Poche') just mixed his pitches well. He stayed in the strike zone. He didn't allow us to get any opportunities off of him. He kept it down in the zone, and we couldn't get put as many good swings on as we would have liked."
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri
"It was a great, solid victory for the Tigers today. It was really just an outstanding performance in every phase. Poche set the tone, he pitched around some trouble in the first inning. The first batter hit a ball that typically Sean (McMullen) would catch. I think the key in that inning is that Jared limited the damage. It was one of those days where we swung the bats great again. Overall, we played really good defense. It was a good way to start the tournament by beating an outstanding ball club like Vanderbilt."
Alex Bregman, SS
"I think we came with the approach of getting on base and putting together quality at bats. I think we let the ball travel a lot more than the first time. For myself, I was out on my front foot against him the last game. He was changing speeds. My first at bat, I just tried to hit a groundball the other way. Other than that, I think everyone else stuck with the same approach."
Jared Poche, LHP
"Tying the ball game up was huge. I was able to go out there and throw strikes. We put some more runs up on the board. I feel anyone could pitch with a lead like that and a defense behind you."