May 14, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - UT junior Nick Hernandez pitched eight strong innings and first baseman Cody Hawn hit two home runs to lead Tennessee to an 8-6 victory over Vanderbilt on Thursday night at Hawkins Field. Hawn finished the game 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
Tennessee (24-29, 9-19 SEC) took their final lead of the game 7-6 with a three-run sixth inning. Left fielder P.J. Polk, second baseman Cody Grisham and shortstop Zach Osborne all drove in runs with RBI singles. Polk and Osborne each drove in two runs on the night.
Vanderbilt (31-22, 12-15 SEC) rallied from down 4-0 to take a 6-4 lead before being outscored 4-0 in the final four innings of the game.
Hernandez (4-5) pitched eight innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on 10 hits with five walks and seven strike outs. Freshman Matt Ramsey entered the game with bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth and retired three straight Vanderbilt hitters to earn his second save of the season.
VU reliever Grayson Garvin (0-1) worked 1-1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while issuing a walk and striking out one.
Tennessee took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run home run by Hawn. Cody Brown scored on the play after reaching base on a double with one out.
Vanderbilt threatened in the bottom of the first loading the bases with one out in the inning. Tennessee infielders Grisham and Osborne turned a brilliant double play to end the inning and the Commodore threat.
The Vols added to their lead with run in the top of the second inning to make the score 3-0. Osborne singled through the right side to score Grisham who doubled.
UT continued to add to its lead in the top of the third inning on Hawn's second home run of the game, a solo shot to center field, making the score 4-0. The home run was the third in three at-bats for Hawn, dating back to his 11th inning home run against MTSU on Tuesday night. Hawn also moved into second place on the school top-10 list for home runs in a season with 21.
Vanderbilt cut the Vols lead to 4-3 with a three-run bottom of the third. After loading the bases on three straight singles to start the inning, VU right fielder Steven Liddle got the scoring started with an RBI groundout to first. First baseman Curt Casali then drove in shortstop Brian Harris with a sacrifice fly to left. On the same play, second baseman Riley Reynolds scored an unearned run on an error.
The Commodores jumped in front 5-4 with two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Vandy tied the game on a double off the bat of left fielder Joe Loftus before taking the lead when Loftus crossed the plate on an error by the third baseman.
VU tallied a run in the third straight inning to take a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Center fielder Jonathan White drove in catcher Andrew Giobbi with a run-scoring double down the left-field line.
UT extended its lead to 8-6 in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Polk to send home catcher Blake Forsythe who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
The two teams return to the diamond at 6 p.m. Friday. Vanderbilt will send left-hander Mike Minor (5-4, 3.72 ERA) to the mound while Tennessee has not announced a starting pitcher.