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Blue Raiders Fall at Vandy, 14-2

Teams combine to use 48 players in contest

March 28, 2007 · MT Media Relations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Third-ranked Vanderbilt used a six-run fifth inning to break open a close game and five Commodore hurlers allowed just four hits in a 14-2 Vandy victory over Middle Tennessee Wednesday night at Hawkins Field.

Middle Tennessee (13-15) dropped its second straight game in Nashville to the Commodores and the loss also ended the Blue Raiders' modest three-game winning streak. Vanderbilt (24-3) improved to 18-1 at home this season, pounding out a season-high 22 hits against eight Blue Raider hurlers. The teams combined to use 48 players in the contest as well.

The Blue Raiders scored twice in the first inning on an RBI single from Rawley Bishop and an RBI groundout from Zach Barrett. Pedro Alvarez's two-run homer in the bottom of the first tied the game and Vandy added another run in the first on a sacrifice fly.

The Commodores scored twice more in the second on a pair of groundouts before exploding for six runs on seven hits in the fifth inning, including RBI hits from six different players.

Alvarez finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBIs, while six other Vanderbilt players collected two hits apiece.

Vandy starter Brett Jacobson (5-1) picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings of work. He walked one and struck out five. Four Commodore relievers did not allow a hit, striking out four.

Middle Tennessee starter Tyler Copeland (2-2) took the loss, giving up five runs on five hits in 1.1 innings before being knocked out by a line drive in the second inning.

The Blue Raiders scored twice in the first to take an early lead after a one-out walk to Matt Campbell and a double down the leftfield line from Wayne Kendrick. Bishop's single through the rightside plated Campbell and extended Bishop's hitting streak to 16 games. Kendrick then scored on a groundout by Barrett.

But the lead was short-lived, as the Commodores scored three times in the bottom of the inning. Dominic de la Osa lined a double down the leftfield line to leadoff and Alvarez followed with an opposite field, two-run homer, his 10th of the year, tying the contest at two. Ryan Flaherty then bunted his way on, stole second and third and scored on a sacrifice fly to right from Andrew Giobbi.

Vandy added to the lead with two more runs in the second after a leadoff single from Alex Feinberg, a bunt single by Brad French and a hit batter. A line drive off the bat of de la Osa hit Copeland, knocking him out of the game and scoring Feinberg on the play. Alvarez's chopper to second plated French for a 5-2 VU advantage.

Blue Raider hurlers Jimmy Kelly and Chad Coley worked three scoreless innings before the damn broke in the fifth.

Matt Meingasner singled to leadoff and Giobbi followed with an RBI double down the rightfield line. Feinberg then singled home a run and Brian Harris followed with a single, putting runners on the corners. A groundout by French plated Feinberg and David Macias followed with an RBI double to rightcenter. A triple high off the leftfield wall by de la Osa plated Macias and Alvarez then doubled off the wall deep in centerfield, giving Vandderbilt an 11-2 lead.

In the VU sixth, Ryan Davis doubled down the leftfield line and scored on a groundout from Harris. In the seventh Jonathan White led off with a double and scored on Alvarez's single to right. Flaherty singled and a single to right from Carter Hawkins plated Alvarez for the game's final run.

Middle Tennessee hosts league-leading Louisiana-Monroe this weekend at Reese Smith Field, starting Friday at 6 p.m.

GAME NOTES
Senior Matt Ray started at shortstop, his first start in the infield since March 10 at Troy when he separated his shoulder ... Rawley Bishop extended his hitting streak to 16 games with an RBI single in the first. The 16 games is the second longest since 1999 by a Blue Raider, trailing only Todd Martin's 17-game stretch in 2006.

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