Hoover, Ala. -
Vanderbilt scored early and held on late to eliminate Arkansas 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference Saturday at Regions Park.
A leadoff walk to Tony Kemp to start the first inning and Anthony Gomez's double jump-started the Commodores' offense for a 1-0 lead after one inning. Connor Harrell's two-run home run to left field extended the lead in the second inning before the Dores loaded the bases and chased Arkansas starter Cade Lynch. However, Razorback's reliever Colby Suggs came on to hold the Vanderbilt offense scoreless 4.2 innings to allow Arkansas to get back in the game with two runs in the sixth inning. But the Vanderbilt bullpen answered the challenge with four pitchers combining for the final 2.2 innings without allowing a base runner.
Will Clinard entered the game and struck out his only two batters faced with two runners on base in the seventh. Kevin Ziomek and Mark Lamm combined for a perfect eighth inning and Navery Moore notched his 11th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Moore's 11th save of the year matches Ryan Rote's school record set in 2004. Commodores' starter Grayson Garvin earned his 12th win of the season to match Casey Weathers and Jeff Peeples' school record. The lefty worked 6.1 innings allowing two runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. He is the first pitcher in SEC history to win 10 SEC games in a single season.
"We've been confident in our pitchers all season long," Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "It's a good confidence builder for our kids to grow on with a combination like we had today. I thought Grayson pitched well. He started leaving pitches up late in the game. You can't ask for more from Grayson, giving up only two runs. Credit goes to him getting through that lineup full of righties."
Anthony Gomez paced Vanderbilt with two hits and Tony Kemp's 15-game hitting streak came to an end with a 0-for-2 performance. Collin Kuhn led Arkansas with a pair of hits, including a RBI-triple in the sixth. Lynch took the loss for the Razorbacks allowing three runs on four hits over 1.2 innings.
The Commodores await the winner of Georgia and Florida tomorrow in the SEC Championship game. For Vanderbilt it will be the team's fifth trip to the championship game in eight appearances under Head Coach Tim Corbin. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon on ESPN2. Senior Taylor Hill gets the nod for the Dores.
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.