[Moderated by Matt Jones]
It’s deja vu all over again as for the second game in a row the Cats are stymied offensively, tie the game late, but give up the winning run in the eighth as they drop their first series of the year to the Commodores.
After the Cats tied the game on a fielder’s choice in the eighth, the Commodores led-off the bottom half of the inning with a hit and a walk. Closer Trevor Gott was brought on to try to work out of the jam but hit walked his first batter, hit his second to drive in the go-ahead run, and gave up a grand slam to the third which put the game out of reach.
The Cats had several chances to put runs on the board early but could not come through with a timely hit as they left the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh innings with two outs. They pushed their lone run across in the eighth with a little bit of luck and a lot of effort. Luke Maile led-off the inning with a single up the middle and Cameron Flynn moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Cats finally caught a break when Vanderbilt committed their third balk of the series to move Maile to third. After a walk to Zac Zellers, J.T. Riddle hit a ball to the shortstop but was able to beat the throw to first to score Maile.
The Commodores got on the board on yet another bloop single with two outs in the third. Mike Yastrzemski (the grandson of Boston great Carl Yastrzemski) lifted a pitch into shallow left just in front of a charging Zac Zellers to give Vandy a 1-0 lead.
It was a pitcher’s duel early both starters worked into the fifth and ended up with no decisions. Corey Littrell threw 5(1/3) innings and gave up one run on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Vandy starter, Kevin Ziomek, threw 5(2/3) innings, did not allow a run while giving up just three hits, walked four, and fanned eight. Alex Phillips would be tagged with the loss for the Cats while Sam Selman would pick up the victory for the Commodores.
The Cats will now drop to 36-9 overall and 14-7 in the SEC. LSU took two out of three from Georgia to tie UK atop the SEC and South Carolina swept Alabama yesterday and have now pulled even with the Cats in the SEC East. It will be an all-out sprint to the wire with nine games left in the SEC season.
There is no midweek game for the Cats this week due finals and the short week. Florida will come to town for a three game set that will kick off with a primetime game on Thursday as a part of ESPNU’s SEC Baseball Game of the Week at 7:30.
Don’t forget to vote for Thomas McCarthy for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award.
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