Top-ranked Vanderbilt used a three-run seventh inning to top No. 21 Georgia 4-2 on Easter Sunday at Foley Field in front of 2,157.
The Bulldogs (18-15, 5-7 SEC) had positioned themselves to upset the top-ranked Commodores (27-6, 10-2 SEC) with the combination of a stellar start from Jared Walsh and a key two-run double by junior Daniel Nichols, but Vanderbilt rallied off of the Georgia bullpen. With the win Sunday, Vanderbilt swept the series.
“We have to get better doing the little things; we made little mistakes in each game. We played a little cleaner today, but we grounded into a few double plays,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “You just have to find a way to beat a team like that; they are not going to beat themselves. There is no question that Vanderbilt is one of the best teams in the country, they are ranked number one for a reason, but we had chances to win and we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
Jared Walsh went six innings, allowing just one run on two hits, while striking out five and walking six. In relief, freshman Bo Tucker picked up the loss, dropping his record to 0-1. Tucker struggled, giving up three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of work. Senior Jared Cheek pitched a strong final 1.2 innings of the game, holding the Commodores scoreless on just one hit.
Freshman Jordan Sheffield tossed five innings for Vanderbilt giving up two runs on three hits and six walks. Reliever Kyle Wright entered in the sixth and threw 2.1 scoreless innings and earned a win. Wright’s record improved to 4-0 on the season. Phillip Pfeifer picked up his fifth save of the campaign with his 1.2 scoreless innings.
Vanderbilt jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, but Georgia was able to respond an inning later. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning on the Nichols double with the bases loaded. On the play, Bowers tried to score but was called out at home.
The Commodores took the lead in the seventh. Nolan Rogers tied the ball game up with an RBI single to right field. Then the next batter, Ro Coleman, ripped a two-run double down the third base line for a 4-2 edge.
Also noteworthy Sunday, Bulldog sophomore Stephen Wrenn’s third inning walk, extended his streak of reaching base to all 33 games this season. Georgia senior catcher Brandon Stephens gunned down two Vanderbilt runners trying to steal second, one in the first inning and then another in the fourth.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday night as they go on the road to play Clemson. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.