NASHVILLE, Tenn. --The Black squad struck early, but the Gold team struck more often Sunday in the finale of the Black and Gold Series.
Black built a 6-2 lead after four innings, but Gold responded by plating at least one run in five of the six final frames en route to a 10-6 win at Hawkins Field. Gold took the series 2-1.
"It was a good series," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "It went three games, which was nice to see. The Gold team as far as pitching was concerned with (Steven) Schwartz, Taylor Hill and Drew Hayes - the way they finished I thought was good. It was a little bit sloppy, though."
The sloppiness is one thing on which Corbin wants to see his team improve.
"There were too many errors," said Corbin, who'll start the 2009 season with 19 sophomores and 11 freshmen. "We're not very good defensively. We don't really have a leader in the infield right now. We've got to find someone who can play defensively."
Black committed three errors, while Gold had two miscues.
"We gave them too many freebies," said Black junior shortstop Brian Harris, who went 3-for-5 with one RBI. "We were just on our heels. ... The younger guys need to mature, and the older guys have to help the younger guys in that process."
Gold plated two in the fourth and tied the game at 6 in the sixth inning when sophomore outfielder Alex Hilliard coaxed a bases-loaded walk that scored freshman first baseman Drew Fann, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and hit a solo home run off Black starting pitcher Sonny Gray in the second inning.
Freshman second baseman Riley Reynolds, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, provided Gold with the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning when he slapped a one-out single to right field that scored freshman shortstop Jason Esposito.Senior outfielder Jonathan White, who went 3-for-5, scored a run in the eighth inning. Sophomore outfielder Jordan Wormsley provided an RBI triple in the ninth that scored Reynolds, who walked and stole second in the frame.
"The team as a whole played pretty well," said Wormsley, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. "We got out fast and had some situations where we had to battle back. In this game we battled back early and really expanded our lead. It put us in a situation where we were comfortable late in the game."
Black struck early with four runs in the second and two in the third. Harris had an RBI single that scored sophomore infielder Alex McClure, who had a two-RBI triple in the frame that scored sophomore center fielder Steven Liddle and sophomore right fielder Joey Manning. Harris scored on an RBI double by sophomore catcher Curt Casali. Manning added an RBI double in the third.
Hill struck out two while walking two in 3.2 innings for the win. Sophomore pitcher Kellen St. Luce surrendered two earned runs - he fanned two and walked three - for the loss.