Knoxville, Tenn. - Tennessee used back-to-back, three-run innings to rally by Vanderbilt and win the series opener Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Commodores (21-24, 9-13) took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning when the Volunteers (23-22, 8-14) scored three times to take the lead. Zach Osborne's RBI-double tied the game before Drew Steckenrider's third double of the night drove in Osborne to give the Vols the lead. A single from Chris Pierce capped the three-run rally, scoring Steckenrider. Tennessee put the game away in the sixth with three more runs, led by Ethan Bennett's two-run homer.
While the Tennessee offense was rallying, starter Nick Williams (3-4) was getting stronger on his way to earning the win. The right-hander struggled through the first two innings giving up a solo home run to Mike Yastrzemski in the first and pitching out of trouble in the second despite allowing a run on Jack Lupo's single to left field. Williams retired 12 straight batters from the fifth to the ninth, walking Connor Castellano with two outs in the ninth to end his night.
Yastrzemski led the Commodores with two of the team's six hits, including his fourth home run of the season. Steckenrider paced the Vols' 10-hit attack tying a school record with four doubles and driving in four runs. Vanderbilt starter T.J. Pecoraro (0-3) took the loss giving up three runs on three hits and three walks over 4.2 innings.
The Commodores and Volunteers play tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT on CSS. Vandy sends freshman Tyler Beede (1-4) to the hill against fellow freshman Robbie Kidd (2-2).