March 22, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama staved off numerous Vanderbilt rally attempts to snap a six-game losing streak in a 9-7 win Saturday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Crimson Tide moved to 10-11 overall and 1-4 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Commodores dropped to 14-5 and 3-2 in conference play.
Vanderbilt's David Macias was the team's main offensive threat going 2-for-3 with a career best two homers and three RBI. Ryan Flaherty and Shea Robin had two hits each as the trio accounted for six of the team's eight hits on the day.
The Commodores took advantage of two Crimson Tide errors in the first to plate two unearned runs to take a 2-0 lead.
The Tide rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the second at 2-2. The first run came on a RBI single by Tyler Odle and the second came via a fielding error by second baseman Alex Feinberg on a grounder by catcher Mike Sharp.
VU took the lead back in the third on a RBI single by Dominic de la Osa that scored Flaherty who led off the frame with a single and stolen base.
Alabama got to Commodore starter Caleb Cotham for two runs on four hits in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Both runs came on a bases loaded two-run double by first baseman Matt Bentley.
The Tide added another in the fourth on a RBI double by Ross Wilson to extend the lead to 5-3.
David Macias lined a solo homer to right in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 5-4.
Jeff Texada got the run back with a solo shot of his own in the bottom half, his first of the year, to knock Cotham out of the game.
Cotham (3-1) gave up six runs, five earned, on nine hits in 5.2 innings with four strikeouts in losing for the first time in his collegiate career.
The Commodores cut into the lead again in the seventh scoring a run on a sacrifice fly RBI by Andrew Giobbi. Dominic de la Osa led off with a hotshot to third that Jeff Texada could not handle allowing him to reach. De la Osa stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring Giobbi's fly ball to center.
The Tide extended their lead to 8-5 in the seventh, courtesy of a two-run single by pinch hitter Ryan Rhoden.
Vanderbilt battled back in the eighth and cut the lead to 8-7, courtesy of a two-run homer by Macias off of UA starter Austin Graham. The homer gives him three for the year, a new single season high for the senior from The Woodlands, Texas.
Graham (2-1) gave up seven runs, four earned, on eight hits in seven innings of work with eight strikeouts and four walks in the win.
Jake Smith's solo homer in the bottom of the eighth gave the Crimson Tide an insurance run and a 9-7 lead.
Josh Copeland came on after Macias' homer in the eighth and struck out four of the six batters he faced for his second save of the year.
The teams will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. Freshman Taylor Hill (1-0, 0.71 ERA) will throw for VU, while Alabama's starter is to be determined.
Vanderbilt 201 001 100 -7 8 2
Alabama 022 101 20x -9 14 4
Cotham, Reid (6), Bierman (7), Christiani (7) and Robin. Graham, Copeland (8) and Sharp. W- Graham 2-1, L- Cotham 3-1. Sv- Copeland (2) HR: VU: Macias 2(2), ALA: Texada (1), Smith (1)