Vanderbilt Rallies For 6-4 Win Over No. 20 Ark
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Vanderbilt’s Jeremy Sowers took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Arkansas plated four runs off the lefty, but it was not enough as the Commodores rallied for a 6-4 victory over the 20th-ranked Razorbacks Friday night at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas dropped to 25-7 overall and 7-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt improved to 17-15 overall and 6-7 in the SEC.
Arkansas reliever Caton Hall (1-1) took the loss after surrendering two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Arkansas starter Jarrett Gardner pitched seven and one-third innings allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits before giving way to Hall in the eighth inning.
Sowers (2-4) pitched eight innings allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits with four strikeouts as Vanderbilt won its fourth straight league game. Jensen Lewis pitched the ninth inning, walking two to earn his fifth save of the year.
Arkansas took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Fox. Andrew Wishy walked to open the inning and moved to second on a fielder’s choice by Clay Goodwin. On the first baseman’s attempt to throw Wishy out at second, the ball hit Wishy in the back and rolled into centerfield allowing Wishy to move to third.
Fox then delivered a fly ball deep enough to score Wishy and give the Hogs a 1-0 advantage.
Vandy plated two runs in the sixth to take the lead. Zach Simpson reached on an error and moved to second on a bunt single by Ryan Klosterman. Matt Zeller reached on a fielder’s choice that forced Simpson out a third.
After a double steal put runners at second and third, Cesar Nicholas singled to push both runners across.
The Commodores made it a 3-1 game with a run in the top of the seventh. Ryan Godfrey singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tony Mansolino. Jonathan Douillard then singled to plate Godrey and give Vandy a two run lead.
Trailing 3-1 and hitless entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Razorbacks ended Sowers’ no-hit bid and tied the game on a two-run home run by Wishy. Brett Hagedorn singled through the right side to begin the inning and end the no-hitter.
Haas Pratt then hit into a fielder’s choice forcing Hagedorn out at second. Wishy then hit a line drive over the right field wall to even the game at 3-3.
Following a walk to Clay Goodwin and a two-out single by Jason Pyle, catcher Judd Kindle gave the Razorbacks a 4-3 lead with a single to center that plated Goodwin.
Vandy reclaimed the lead with three runs in the top of the eighth inning. Nicholas singled with one out to chase Gardner and bring in Hall. Hall then threw wild to home allowing Nicholas to move to second. Following a line out by Jones for the second out of the inning, Nicholas advanced to third on a passed ball. John Kaye then singled to right to score Nicholas and even the score.
Hall then walked Godrey to put runners at first and second with two outs. Mansolino lined a double to left to score both runners and give the Commodores a 6-4 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Nick Pitts doubled to begin in the inning and moved to third when Bridges reached on an error by the pitcher. After Pratt struck out and Wishy fouled out, Bridges stole second and Goodwin walked to load the bases. But, the Razorbacks were unable to score as Fox struck out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
After issuing a pair of two-out walks in the ninth, Lewis forced Bridges into a fielders’ choice retiring Pitts at second base to end the game.
Arkansas and Vanderbilt continue the series with game two Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net.
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