Offense carries Dores to series victory at Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. – Top-ranked Vanderbilt fell behind early but a steady offensive attack led to a series-clinching 11-7 win over Georgia at Foley Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs (18-14, 5-6) were in total control through the first three innings scoring three runs off Commodores’ (26-6, 9-2) starter Walker Buehler. Georgia starter Ryan Lawlor was carving up the Vandy lineup, striking out eight of the first 11 batters he faced. But the Commodores took over in the fourth with the first five batters reaching base. Dansby Swanson led off the inning with a walk and was followed by a Zander Wiel single and Bryan Reynolds’ walk to load the bases. Will Toffey’s single put the Commodores on the board and Tyler Campbell’s two-run single down the left field line tied the game. Jason Delay delivered the lead with a sacrifice fly and the Commodores never trailed again.

Vanderbilt put the game away in the seventh inning with another four-run inning again with the first five batters of the frame reaching base. Wiel and Reynolds each pushed runs across but it was Campbell again coming through with a clutch two-out, two-run single to center to cap the rally. Campbell finished the day with a career-high four RBI going 2-for-4.

Buehler picked up the win with six-plus innings of work. The right-hander struggled early allowing three runs over the first three innings before taking over in the middle innings, allowing only one hit over the next three frames. The junior ran out of gas in the seventh when three straight Bulldogs reached base. Ryan Johnson, however, held Georgia to just a single run, stranding two runners on base to get out of the jam. Ben Bowden bailed out Johnson in the eighth leaving the bases loaded before working a clean ninth to clinch the Dores’ seventh series victory of the year.

The Commodores’ 11 runs mark the eighth time this season the team has scored at least 10 runs and the second time in the last five. Wiel and Wiseman each had two hits, two runs and two RBI in the win with Wiseman smashing his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot out of the park to right field. Reynolds’ 16-game hitting streak came to an end despite the sophomore driving in two runs and scoring two more.

Jared Walsh led Georgia with four hits sa the top three Bulldogs in the line produced nine of the team’s 14 hits. Lawlor took the loss allowing six runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts over six innings.

The Commodores wrap up the series at Georgia tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT on SEC Network. Jordan Sheffield gets the nod for Vandy against Bulldogs’ lefty Jared Walsh.