March 20, 2010
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Around the Bases
Alabama's Nelson puts
hold on Vanderbilt
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
(photos by Jimmy Jones)
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama--Alabama extended its win
streak to 17 games with its seventh consecutive win over
Vanderbilt, 8-2, in front of a large home crowd on Saturday
afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium to claim the SEC series.
right-hander Jimmy Nelson (4-0) (left) allowed two runs on seven
hits in 6.2 innings with five strikeouts to pick up the win and
record the second quality start in as many games for the Crimson
Tide (2-0, 16-1) in the series.
Alabama took the lead in the third on a leadoff base hit by
Brock Bennett. He was bunted to second and had to stop at third
on a sharply hit ball in front of VU leftfielder Aaron Westlake
to put runners at the corners.
Wilson (right) then hit a drive over the wall in left off of
Commodore starter Taylor Hill, his fourth of the season, to give
the Crimson Tide a 3-0 lead.
Vanderbilt (0-2, 15-4) cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth when
Curt Casali walked, Jason Esposito doubled and freshman Connor
Harrell singled back through the box to score both runners.
The Tide answered in the bottom half when John David Smelser
opened the inning with a two-bagger. Jon Kelton followed with a
bunt single that was misplayed by the Commodores allowing
Smelser to cross the plate safely to bump the score to 4-2.
Alabama chased Hill (3-1) in his shortest outing of the year.
Hill, who came into the game with a gaudy 1.98 ERA, allowed four
runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. He walked two and struck out
two in his first loss of the season.
Hayes (left) relieved and cruised through the Bama lineup in the
fifth before allowing the bases to be loaded after getting two
outs to start the frame. Josh Rutledge battled through a
nine-pitch at-bat before doubling into right field to clear the
bases and extend the cushion to 7-2.
Walk-on catcher Brock Bennett had four hits to extend his home
hitting streak to 16 consecutive games. He also scored three
runs, while Ross Wilson and Josh Rutledge had three-run hits
apiece to pace the Crimson Tide offensively.
Vanderbilt came into the series with a team batting average of
.352 and was scoring nine runs on an average of 12 hits per
game, lost back-to-back games for the first time in 2010.
Hayes finished the night allowing two hits and three runs in 2.1
innings of work. He recorded three strikeouts and issued two
bases on balls.
Anthony Gomez (right) continues to impress for the Commodores
with three hits and is now 18 for 29 on the season.
Connor Harrell contributed two hits as well.
The two teams will conclude the series on Sunday at 2:05 p.m.
The game will be televised regionally on CSS.