Raiders Drop 4-1 Decision at VandyMay 16, 2006 · MT Media Relations
Pedro Alvarez had an RBI double and Dominic de la Osa belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, staking the Commodores to an early lead. VU starter Cody Crowell and reliever Tyler Rhoden gave up just four hits in the first six innings, striking out four.
Vanderbilt (31-22) got the run back in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Ryan Davis.
The Blue Raiders again brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after an error and a single from Matt Campbell, but Marcus Taylor grounded hard up the middle and into a 4-6-3 doubleplay to end the game.
Crowell (5-2) got the win and Casey Weathers picked up his first save with 1.1 scoreless innings. Middle Tennessee starter Brett Smalley (1-3) allowed the three runs in the first but settled down, working four innings and striking out two but still took the loss.
Vandy's de la Osa made a terrific diving grab in leftcenter to start the game, robbing Jeff Beachum of at least a single.
The Commodores got on the board in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff walk to David Macias, who stole second. Alvarez then ripped a hanging breaking ball down the rightfield line for a double, plating Macias. Smalley got the next two batters out, but Macias hammered a high first-pitch fastball over the wall in leftcenter for his seventh home run of the season and a quick 3-0 VU lead.
Middle Tennessee's Campbell doubled off the leftfield wall to start the third and moved to third on aylor's groundout, but Beachum grounded out to third and Wayne Kendrick lined out to right, stranding Campbell.
The Blue Raiders stranded single runners in the fourth, sixth and seventh before finally breaking through in the eighth.
Kendrick singled with two outs before a walk to Michael McKenry. Todd Martin then singled through the middle, plating Kendrick, and the throw back to the infield got away, allowing the runners to move to second and third. But Weathers came on to strikeout Warren and end the inning with Middle Tennessee trailing, 3-1.
But Vanderbilt came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring once after a leadoff single from Ryan Flaherty. Shea Robin had a two-out single before an RBI single to left by Davis gave the home team a three-run lead again.
The game had three other defensive gems, a diving grab in short centerfield by Macias to end the seventh inning and a diving stop by first baseman Brad French to start the ninth. The third was a sliding grab along the rightfield line by Taylor in the eighth.
The Blue Raiders play their final Sun Belt series of the year at league-leading Troy beginning Thursday at 6 p.m. The two teams play Friday at 6 p.m. and conclude the series Saturday at 1 p.m.
Senior Chase Eakes returned to the lineup for the first time since April 26. Eakes missed 11 games because of a suspension for violation of team rules. His eight-game hitting streak came to an end after an 0-for-3 performance ... Brett Smalley drew the start on the mound, his first appearance since May 7 at Florida International and first midweek start since April 4 against Lipscomb ... Wayne Kendrick's single in the first extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Todd Martin's hotshot single off the third baseman extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. It is the longest hitting streak for a Blue Raider in the last eight seasons ... Jeff Beachum's infield single in the sixth extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
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