Georgia (18-14, 5-6 SEC) went up 1-0 in the second as Brandon Stephensdoubled and scored after consecutive groundouts. Georgia added two more runs in the third. After a leadoff single by Skyler Weber and a double by Jared Walsh (4-for-5), respectively, they came around to score by a sacrifice fly and a groundout. Skyler Weber went 3-5 with 2 runs and an RBI while sophomore Stephen Wrenn went 2-for-5 to extend his on base streak to all 32 games this year.
Through the first three innings, junior left-hander Ryan Lawlor was cruising with eight strikeouts and a 3-0 advantage, but the Commodores exploded for four runs in the 4th inning and never trailed after that. Vanderbilt (26-6, 9-2 SEC) stretched its lead in the fifth frame with a Rhett Wiseman home run followed by a Zander Wiel triple and a sacrifice fly by Bryan Reynolds.
Lawlor (3-4) finished with a career high 12 strikeouts but was credited with the loss after giving up six runs and three walks over six innings. Walker Buehler (3-0) received the win giving up four runs on nine hits over six innings. Vanderbilt broke the game open by adding four insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning off freshman southpaw, Ryan Avidano. Tyler Campbell went 2-for-4 with four RBI to pace the Commodore attack.[su_spacer size=”20″] [su_spacer size=”20″]
Georgia scored a run in the bottom half of the seventh inning and had an opportunity to chip at Vanderbilt’s lead but left the bases loaded. Vanderbilt quickly got that run back in the eighth inning. Ro Coleman reached on an error by centerfielder, Stephen Wrenn, and advanced to second. Wiseman singled him in on the next at bat for his second RBI of the game.
The Bulldogs had another chance in the eighth when Weber and Walsh chased Commodore reliever, Ryan Johnson, out of the game with RBI singles to cut the game to 11-6. Ben Bowden entered the game and surrendered a run on DJ Smith’ssacrifice fly but escaped another bases loaded jam and eventually the final Georgia threat. The opportunities were there as Georgia left 12 runners on base.
“Ryan was cruising and then hit a wall there in the fourth and lost his command a bit,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. “Vanderbilt got the clutch hits, and we need to do a better job of executing when we have opportunities. We left the bases loaded a few times. We scored some runs today but overall you have to play really well to beat the number one team in the country.”
The series concludes Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 12:03 p.m. (SEC Network).
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