Vandy drops Finale 6-3 to Gamecocks

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Allen


No. 18 Vanderbilt gave up four runs in the top of the eighth inning to No. 17 South Carolina to drop the series finale 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (40-16, 17-13) and Gamecocks (42-14, 18-12) entered the eighth inning tied 2-2 in a hard fought pitchers’ duel but the visitors took advantage of Vandy’s mistakes to score four runs in the inning. Reliever Adam Ravenelle walked the leadoff man then made an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt to put two runners on with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, Ravenelle issued his second walk of the inning and was lifted for Ben Bowden with the bases loaded. The freshman threw one pitch to Kyle Martin, who lined a single up the middle to put South Carolina in front. Brian Miller entered to retire Grayson Greiner but back-to-back singles from Joey Pankake and DC Arendas pushed the Gamecocks’ lead to four runs.

The Vanderbilt offense struggled against South Carolina starter Wil Crowe much of the afternoon. The Dores scratched out a pair of runs in the fourth when Bryan Reynolds lined a double into the left field corner to score Xavier Turner and was followed by a single from Zander Wiel to give the Commodores a 2-1 lead. The fourth inning, however, was the only inning the Dores put a runner on base until John Norwood’s leadoff single in the eighth.

South Carolina came back to tie the game in the sixth against John Kilichowski. The lefty allowed a leadoff single before making an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch allowed the run to score before Ravenelle entered and ended the threat.

Crowe pitched three perfect innings before Vanderbilt struck for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. With one out and Xavier Turner on first base, the Commodores employed a hit and run and Bryan Reynolds lifted a double to left field scoring Turner. Wiel would follow that up with a RBI base hit to left field giving Vandy a one-run lead. Vanderbilt starter Tyler Ferguson allowed one run on six hits and three walks in five innings of work.

Dansby Swanson and Wiel paced the Commodores with two hits each and one RBI apiece. Marcus Mooney led the Gamecocks with three hits while Pankake and Arendas drove in two runs each.

The Commodores return to action on Tuesday morning in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover, Ala. at 9:30 a.m. as the sixth seed against 11th seeded Tennessee. The Gamecocks will have a bye and seeded fourth in the SEC Tournament. South Carolina will face the winner of No.5 Mississippi State-No. 12 Georgia in the final game on Wednesday night. The tournament is single elimination on Tuesday, double elimination from Wednesday-Friday with single elimination games on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24