VU Clinches Series, Defeats Tide 4-2Matthews' Column, Photo Gallery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Three Vanderbilt pitchers combined to three hit Alabama for the second straight game in a 4-2 win Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores clinched the series with the win to improve to 29-4 overall and 7-4 in SEC play, while the Crimson Tide fell to 19-14 and 4-7 in conference action. It marks the first time ever Alabama has lost a regular season series to a No. 1 ranked team (six previous series).

Back to back solo homers by Pedro Alvarez and Dominic de la Osa staked the Commodores to a 2-0 lead in the third. It was Alvarez’ 11th homer of the year and de la Osa’s seventh.

Matt Meingasner’s RBI double in the fourth pushed the lead to 3-0. Shea Robin led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on two groundouts before scoring on Meingasner’s hit.

Mike Minor cruised through five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. Brandon Belcher reached on an error and advanced to second on a single by Emeel Salem. Both runners pulled off a double steal with Belcher coming in to score when Shea Robin’s throw to third went into leftfield. Kent Matthes advanced Salem to third on a single to left and Minor hit Jeff Smith to load the bases. Cody Crowell came on in relief and got Ryan Rhoden to ground out, scoring Salem to make it 3-2.

Meingasner added an RBI single in the sixth to make it 4-2. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Minor moved to 5-0 on the year after giving up two unearned runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Crowell came on and pitched two hitless innings of relief and Casey Weathers then closed it out with 1.2 innings of hitless action to pick up his third save of the year.

Dominic de la Osa added three hits for VU while David Macias chipped in with two.

Crimson Tide starter Bernard Robert was charged with the loss to drop to 4-4 on the season. He gave up four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings.

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin thought the pitchers did a good job, but wasn’t very pleased with the rest of the team’s performance.

“Mike Minor did a pretty good job for five and half innings and Cody did as well, coming in with the bases loaded and putting the stop in the game,” said Corbin. “Then Casey closed it down. There was no other part of the game though that I really got jacked up about. I just don’t feel like we executed well.”

The Commodores and Crimson Tide will play the final game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. Sophomore righthander Nick Christiani (5-2, 3.92 ERA) will take the hill for VU, while Alabama will start righthander Austin Hyatt (2-1, 1.96 ERA).

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Robert, Copeland (6), Stroup (7) and Rhoden. Minor, Crowell (6), Weathers (8) and Robin. W- Minor 5-0, L- Robert (4-4). Sv- Weathers (3). HR- VU: Alvarez (11), de la Osa (7)