ATHENS, Ga. – An eight-run seventh inning proved to be the difference on Saturday afternoon, as the Vanderbilt baseball team fell, 13-7, to No. 22 Georgia at Foley Field. With the loss, the Commodores move to 30-15 on the season, including an 11-12 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
Vanderbilt put up a four-spot in the third to gain an early 4-1 advantage, while Georgia plated single tallies in the third and fourth to make it a one-run contest. The Bulldogs erupted for eight runs in the seventh to seize control and held on for the victory to even the weekend series.
Vandy starter Chris McElvain notched his fifth quality start on the season. The junior right-hander lasted 6.0 innings, while allowing four runs (two unearned) on three hits. He walked five batters and struck out five.
The Commodores used three arms out of the bullpen with the trio of Patrick Reilly, Donye Evans and Ryan Ginther. Reilly (2-3) suffered the loss, marking his third on the season.
The Bulldogs struck first on Saturday, plating one run in the second to grab an early 1-0 lead. The Georgia leadoff man reached on an error by the Vanderbilt third baseman before coming across to score the game’s first run on a two-out RBI double to right center.
The two teams traded runs in the third, as Vanderbilt got on the board with four runs in the top half. Davis Diaz led off the inning with a single up the middle before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled to center to place runners on the corners, Calvin Hewett brought across Vanderbilt’s first run of the day with an RBI groundout to even the score at one apiece.
Spencer Jones continued the inning with an RBI single to left center to score one before Dominic Keegan launched a two-run shot to deep center to put Vanderbilt in front, 4-1. The homer marked Keegan’s 10th on the season.
Georgia answered back with one run in the home half, using a bases-loaded walk to make it a 4-2 contest.
The Bulldogs continued to chip away with another run in the fourth, as a solo home run to right field made it a 4-3 ballgame.
The two teams went scoreless across the next two frames until Georgia took the lead with eight runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Bulldogs registered six hits in the inning, including two home runs, to move ahead, 11-4, after seven full.
Georgia added late insurance with two runs in the eighth to take a 13-4 lead heading into the final frame.
Vanderbilt plated three in the ninth, as Carter Young connected on a two-run homer followed by a solo shot from Bradfield to set the score at 13-7, the eventual final.
The two teams will return to the diamond tomorrow for the series finale. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT with action airing live on SEC Network.