Vanderbilt Takes Series from No. 8 Auburn with 3-0
Moves into Tie for Second Place In SEC East with Florida
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Three Vanderbilt freshmen pitchers
combined for a nine-hit shutout and John Kaye and Zach
Simpson each hit solo home runs as the Commodores won
their rubber game with No. 8 Auburn 3-0 Sunday, April
27, at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt (22-20, 10-11 in the Southeastern Conference)
records its second consecutive series win over a Top
10-ranked league opponent. The Commodores also took
two of three from then-No.7 LSU last weekend in Nashville.
The victory moves Vanderbilt into a tie of second place
in the SEC Eastern Division with South Carolina. The
Gamecocks lost at Ole Miss 2-0 on Sunday. Florida leaps
over South Carolina into first place in the division
after a 14-6 victory at home against Mississippi State.
Auburn suffers its first shutout of the season and
drops to 32-13 overall and 13-8 in league play.
The Commodores made the most of their three hits, scoring
three times while the Tigers stranded 13 runners on
base, including eight in scoring position.
VU starter Ryan Mullins (3-6) earned the win, scattering
six hits and two walks while posting six strikeouts
in six innings of work. Reliever Matt Buschmann allowed
two hits and three walks but did not allow Auburn to
score in the seventh or eighth inning. Jensen Lewis
entered in the ninth, gave up a hit, but struck out
two while registering his team-best seventh save.
Auburn starter Cory Dueitt (6-2) took the loss but
carried a perfect game into the fifth. Kaye led off
the inning with a solo shot to left center field for
his second home run of the season, giving Vanderbilt
a 1-0 advantage.
The Commodores added two insurance runs in the eighth
for a 3-0 lead. Jonathan Douillard gave VU a 2-0 lead
when he hit a sacrifice fly to left center field to
plate pinch runner Gil Kim. Simpson quickly gave the
Commodores a 3-0 cushion when he took AU reliever Steven
Register's first pitch over the wall in left center
Vanderbilt tallied 14 runs on 14 hits on the weekend
en route to its third series win over a ranked SEC foe
in the last four weeks. The Commodores end a stretch
of 12 games against ranked conference opponents with
an 8-4 mark. The series win over Auburn was Vanderbilt's
first since 1988.
With the win on Sunday, Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin becomes
the winningest first-year head coach in Commodore baseball
history. Corbin surpasses Roy Mewbourne's record of
21 victories in 1979.
Mullins pitched out of three jams in his six innings
of work. The Tigers put runners on first and second
with no outs in the third inning when Bobby Huddleston
walked and Karl Amonite singled to right field. But
Mullins struck out Scott Schade, got Josh Bell to hit
into a fielder's choice at second base, and coaxed Clete
Thomas to ground out back to the mound.
AU loaded the bases in the fourth frame. Huddleston
reached on a throwing error, Schade hit a one-out single
and Bell walked. But Mullins recorded back-to-back strikeouts
of Thomas and Chuck Jeroloman to end the threat.
The first two Tiger batters reached base again in the
sixth on back-to-back singles by Huddleston and Amonite.
But Mullins forced Schade into a double play and caused
Bell to fly out to left field.
Buschmann allowed Auburn to load the bases with two
outs in the seventh but got Huddleston to fly out to
left field. An inning-ending fly out by Jeroloman stranded
runners on first and third in the eighth.
Aromite led all Tiger hitters with a 3-for-4 performance.
Vanderbilt begins a seven-game road trip next weekend
at Georgia. The Commodores and Bulldogs open the series
Friday at 7 p.m. ET. It continues Saturday at 2 p.m.
ET, and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The series opener
will be televised live by Comcast Sports Southeast.
All three games can be heard on Nashville's WNSR 560