VU Rallies to Defeat Arkansas 6-3


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. ­— Vanderbilt rallied from a 2-1 deficit with four runs in the eighth, capped off by an inside the park home run by Pedro Alvarez to defeat Arkansas 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.

The Commodores evened the series with the win to improve to 23-2 overall and 3-2 in the SEC, while the Razorbacks fell to 18-7 and 3-2 in league action.

Kurt Lipton started the rally with a one out double to left center in the eighth. David Macias walked and Alex Feinberg then grounded to third baseman Logan Forsythe who threw the ball away trying to get the out at second base. The ball went into the outfield allowing Lipton to score to tie the game at 2-2. Arkansas starter Duke Welker then bounced a pitch to the plate allowing both runners to advance. Dominic de la Osa then struck out for the second out in the inning before Alvarez blasted a towering shot into the wind gusting in rightfield that Brad Secrist lost in the sky. All three runners scored on Alvarez’ first collegiate inside the park homer and ninth round-tripper of the year.

Vanderbilt’s Nick Christiani out dueled Arkansas’ Duke Welker after allowing two runs on five hits in 7.1 innings of work to move to 5-1 on the year. He walked five and struck out three before giving way to Mike Minor in the eighth.

“I started out a little slow, my command wasn’t as good as it should have been,” said Christiani. “I just came right after them and tried to keep the ball down and let our defense make the plays behind me. I was able to throw strikes and get groundballs and flyballs and get us back in the dugout.”

Minor came on with one out and two men on and the tying run at the plate in the eighth and promptly threw out a runner at third and struck out Sean Jones to end the threat.

VU added an insurance run in the ninth when Shea Robin, who singled to lead off the inning, scored on a RBI single by pinch hitter Brad French to make it 6-2.

Danny Hamblin hit a leadoff homer to left in the ninth off of Minor to close out the scoring at 6-3. Minor picked up his second save of the year after giving up the one run on one hit in 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.

Kurt Lipton led Vanderbilt with two hits on the day, while six different Razorbacks had a hit each.

Duke Welker (4-1) dropped his first decision of the season after giving up five runs, one earned, on five hits in eight innings with five strikeouts and a walk.

The Commodores jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Pedro Alvarez singled with two outs, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Ryan Flaherty’s RBI single down the leftfield line.

The Razorbacks tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI single by Tim Smalling that scored Logan Forsythe who led off the inning with a walk and stole second.

Arkansas took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on the strength of a solo homer by Forsythe, his fourth of the year.

The Commodores and Razorbacks will be back in action in the rubber game of the three game set Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Sophomore right hander Brett Jacobson (4-0, 2.48 ERA) will take the hill for VU, while freshman southpaw Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 5.61 ERA) will start for Arkansas.

Vanderbilt 100 000 041 – 6 7 1
Arkansas 010 100 001 – 3 6 2

Christiani, Minor and Robin. Welker, Hill and Nutt. W- Christiani 5-1, L- Welker 4-1. Sv- Minor (2). HR- VU: Alvarez (9), ARK: Forsythe (4), Hamblin (6)