Vanderbilt Takes Series Opener From Tennessee, 7-4
In Front of Record Crowd
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jeremy Sowers struck out 10 and
won his seventh consecutive decision while Cesar Nicolas
hit a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning as Vanerbilt
took the series opener from rival Tennessee, 7-4 Friday,
May 16 in front a record crowd of 1,811 at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt moves to 25-26 overall, 12-16 in the Southeastern
Conference and remains in the hunt for a berth in next
week's league tournament in Birmingham. The Commodores
climb within a game of Tennessee who is in second place
in the SEC Eastern Division. Vanderbilt remains in fourth
place a half game behind third-place Florida who topped
Kentucky 19-0 in Gainesville.
The Commodores also move within a game of Alabama and
Arkansas for a wildcard slot in the tournament after
Alabama lost 11-8 at Mississippi State and LSU defeated
Arkansas 11-3 in Fayetteville.
Tennessee slips to 31-22 overall and 13-15 in the conference.
Sowers (7-4) recorded double-digit strikeouts for the
fifth time this season and the eighth time in his career.
The sophomore left-hander gave up eight hits, four runs
(three earned), two walks and 10 strikeouts in seven
innings. Jensen Lewis pitched the eighth and ninth innings
to pick up his team-best eighth save. He allowed one
hit and a walk while striking out two.
Volunteer starter Ben Riley (3-6), a late substitution
into the starting lineup, took the loss. He walked eight
and gave five hits, seven runs (four earned) to go along
with two strikeouts in five innings.
The Commodores broke open a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning.
Riley hit Matt Zeller with a pitch to lead off the inning.
Zach Simpson followed with a single to right field.
Klosterman drew a walk that was creditted to Riley after
he was relieved by Vol Joy Andrews with a 2-1 count.
After John Kaye struck out, Nicolas came up with the
bases loaded. He took the first pitch into the left-field
corner along the line, scoring Zeller, Simpson and Klosterman.
Vanderbilt took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first
when Warner Jones singled to center field, scoring Nicolas
from second base.
Tennessee scored twice in the top of the third to grab
a 2-1 lead. Javi Herrera hit a RBI ground out to second
base to bring in Jordan Czarniecki, tying the game at
1-1. The next batter, Kyle Norrid, scored Josh Alley
on a sacrifice fly.
Vanderbilt claimed a 4-2 lead with three runs in the
bottom of the third inning. Kaye and Nicolas scored
when Tony Mansolino hit a low liner the UT right fielder
Chad LeGate misjudged. Mansolino advanced all the way
to third base. He came in on the next play when Jones
hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Volunteers tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth on
a sacrifice fly by Brian Cleveland and run scoring single
Game two of the series is Saturday at 6 p.m. It will
be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast.