Vanderbilt 5, Michigan State 4

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Vanderbilt Wins Third Straight by Holding Off Michigan State, 5-4

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Warner Jones hit a two-run homer and a RBI triple and Robert Ransom pitched eight solid innings before running into trouble in the ninth as Vanderbilt held off Michigan State, 5-4, Thursday, March 6, at Harmon Stadium at the University of North Florida. With the win the Commodores claim their third consecutive victory and move to 9-5 on the year. The Spartans slip to 3-6.

Ransom (2-0) scattered six hits through the first eight innings, retired eighth straight and took a 5-1 lead into the ninth inning before giving up four singles in a row to Travis Gulick, Buddy Burill, Scott Koerber and Jim Deliz. Deliz's single through the left side of the infield plated Gulick. Burrill scored on the next play when MSU's Eric Morris hit into a fielder's choice to VU third baseman Tony Mansolino. However, Mansolino's throw to second base short-hopped second baseman Rucker Taylor and kept the bases loaded with no outs. MSU's Brett Wattles then grounded out to short that scored Koerber from third base to trim Vanderbilt's lead to 5-4. Ransom then walked Alan Cattrysse intentionally to reload the bases with one out.

Ransom was pulled for Jensen Lewis who stopped the Spartan rally and picked up his second save of the season. Lewis struck out Charlie Braun and caught a soft pop up from James Moreno to end the game.

Vanderbilt jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings. In the first inning Matt Zeller scored from first base on a single by Cesar Nicolas and a throwing error by Morris in left field. VU went ahead 2-0 in the second when Jonathan Douillard doubled to left-center field and scored on a single by Taylor.

Jones provided the rest of Vanderbilt's scoring, crushing a two-run homer off the top of the scoreboard in left field in the fourth inning and knocking a RBI triple into the alley in right-center field in the eighth.

Michigan State starter Bryan Gale (2-1) gave up seven hits and three earned runs in seven innings and took the loss.

Vanderbilt plays its fourth and final game during its Spring Break stay in Jacksonville, Saturday, March 8, against nationally ranked Notre Dame at 3 p.m. ET at the University of North Florida.



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