Tennessee Holds Off Dores

Vandy falls 7-6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt put the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth Saturday at Hawkins Field, but No. 1 Tennessee held on to win 7-6.

Tennessee struck first with a run on three hits in the top of the third. With one out, right fielder JD Rogers robbed Billy Amick of what would have been a three-run homer to limit the damage.

The Dores answered in the bottom of the third. Davis Diaz singled with one out and Jonathan Vastine worked a walk. RJ Austin then lined a two-out double to left field, scoring Diaz from second to tie the game at 1-1.

Tennessee loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth, but Carter Holton got a strikeout and a fly out to escape the jam with just one unearned run allowed.

Once again, Vanderbilt responded in the home half of the inning. Colin Barczi worked a leadoff walk and Camden Kozeal gave the Dores their first lead with a two-run blast to right field that traveled 432 feet to put Vandy up 3-2.

Holton exited after the fifth inning. The southpaw totaled seven strikeouts and held Tennessee to one earned run.

Tennessee started off the top of the sixth with a hit-by-pitch and a walk before Christian Moore hit an opposite-field, three-run homer to right to put Tennessee back in front, 5-3. The Volunteers made it a three-run lead on a wild pitch.

The Dores answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Kozeal singled and Mathew Polk hit a double to put runners on second and third. Pinch hitter Jack Bulger singled home Kozeal with one out.

An error on a failed pickoff allowed Polk to move up to third. Polk then scored on a single by Diaz as the Dores made it a one-run game, trailing 6-5.

The Vols got a run back in the top of the seventh off a two-out single to go in front 7-5.

Vanderbilt mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth at Jacob Humphrey led things off with a walk. RJ Austin then doubled to put the tying run on second. Humphrey scored on a sac fly to cut Tennessee’s lead to one, but the Vols held on to claim an 7-6 win.

Game 3 in the series is set for a 2 p.m. first pitch Sunday on ESPN2.