April 2, 2011

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CBI Live
Vanderbilt scores late to put away Auburn

By Jimmy Jones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

(photos by Jimmy Jones) 


AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 1-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores scored eight runs with two outs in the eighth inning to break up what had been a close ballgame to defeat the Auburn Tigers 11-2 in front of a capacity crowd on Saturday night at Plainsman Park.


It was the fifth consecutive SEC loss for the Tigers (2-6, 15-12).


"You have to find a way to cut that inning off and we weren't able to do that tonight," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "We talk about trying to make it a short game. We were right there and a couple plays, a couple swings, and it's a different ballgame but we made a couple of mistakes and they made us pay for it. Against good teams you can't do that. Every mistake we made they capitalized on it."


The Commodores (6-2, 24-3) entered the eighth inning with a slim 3-2 lead thanks to a superb hustle play by sophomore Anthony Gomez (pictured above) who scored from second base on a fielder’s choice grounder in the sixth inning that did not yield an out.


Mike Yastrzemski ‘s two-run single opened the gate for the visitors and the Vandy offense put the game out of reach by sending 12 men to the plate in the inning to set season highs with eight runs on six hits.


Grayson Garvin (left) earned the win for Vanderbilt, pitching 5.1 innings for his fifth win of the year against one loss. The junior left-hander gave up two runs, one earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Mark Lamm picked up his first save of the year by recording the final seven outs.


Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacob was superb in his first SEC start despite being saddled with the loss. He allowed just three runs on five hits over 5.1 innings and did not walk a batter.


Vanderbilt took an early lead on Aaron Westlake’s team-leading fifth home run of the season in the first, but the Tigers tied it in the third on a monster shot off of the top of the scoreboard in centerfield by Zach Alvord (right).


Freshman Tony Kemp had two hits, knocked in two runs and scored three. Gomez added two hits to extend his hitting streak to 23 games. Curt Casali and Westlake joined in with two hits apiece as well for the Commodores, who finished with 11 hits.


The win ensured Vanderbilt’s seventh consecutive series win.


Auburn will try to salvage the final game of the series on the Plains Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.


Derek Varnadore (3-1, 3.80) takes the bump for the Tigers while senior right-hander Taylor Hill (2-0, 2.76) goes for the Commodores.