NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee battled Vanderbilt through a back-and-forth contest, tied at 5-5 through the seventh, but the Vols used an eighth inning rally to take a 9-5 win on Saturday at Charles Hawkins Field.
Tennessee outhit the Commodores 11-6 and with the win, the Vols improve to 11-12 on the year and 2-6 in SEC play.
Vanderbilt got ahead in the bottom of the second, as Commodores’ third baseman Will Toffey knocked a three-run homer over the right field wall for a 3-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Tennessee to respond, putting up five runs on five hits as part of a two-out rally in the third. Center fielder Derek Lance began the rally with a base hit up the middle, reaching third on a fielding error by Vanderbilt’s first baseman Zander Wiel.
Shortstop A.J. Simcox brought Lance and right fielder Vincent Jackson home on a base hit to center field, before left fielder Christin Stewart knocked Simcox home on a single to center.
Second baseman Nick Senzel put runners on second and third with a standup double before designated hitter Andrew Lee made it a 5-3 ballgame with a two-run triple to right-center field.
Vanderbilt came back to even the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the third. The schools remained tied at 5-5 until the eighth, but the Vols put together a rally, initiated by Senzel and Lee reaching on back-to-back singles.
Parker Wormsley walked to make it bases loaded, paving the way for Jordan Rodgers, Andrew Plunkett and Vincent Jackson to bring in four runs in the frame and make it a 9-5 Tennessee advantage.
Lefty Drake Owenby (1-3) went 2.2 innings against the Commodores, allowing five runs on four hits with three strikeouts but received no decision. Fellow lefthander Andy Cox entered the game in the third and tossed 3.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts before sophomore righthander Kyle Serrano took the mound.
With runners on first and second with one out, Serrano recorded back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the inning.
Righthander Andrew Lee moved from the designated hitter spot to the hill in the ninth and finsihed the game for Tennessee.