May 18, 2003
Nashville, Tenn. - Worth Scott's walk off two-out two-run home run lifted Vanderbilt Commodores to a 6-5 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers and a series sweep for the first time since 1989 at Hawkins Field.
The loss eliminated Tennessee from the Southeastern Conference Tournament as the Volunteers closed out the regular season with a final mark 31-24 overall and 13-17 in conference play. Vanderbilt played itself into the tournament as it improved to 27-26 and 14-16 in league play.
Vanderbilt started its rally as Warner Jones singled with one out and was erased when Jonathan Douillard reached on a fielders choice. Jones' hard slid disrupted Brian Cleveland's throw allowing Douillard to reach. Rucker Taylor then replaced Douillard as a pinch runner as Scott slugged the first pitch delivered by loser Luke Hochevar (6-5) over the right field fence. It was his third home run of the season.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Vols took a 5-4 lead in the eighth as Javi Herrera scored the go ahead run on pinch hitter Jimbo Watson's two-out single to right snapping a 4-4 deadlock.
It was a dogfight to the end as Vanderbilt built a 2-0 lead after four only to see Tennessee score three unearned runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 advantage. The Commodores scored two in the sixth to regain the lead at 4-3, but the Volunteers fought back by plating single runs in the seventh and eighth.
Hochevar pitched five innings in relief of starter Brandon Crowe was lifted in the fourth after giving up two runs.
Jordan Czarniecki drove in three on the day to the lead the Vols, including a two-run double that gave the Vols 3-2 lead in the fifth.
Matt Buschmann (5-2) got the win in two innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits. Ryan Mullins turned in a solid seven innings of work, allowing one earned run on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Vanderbilt drew first blood in the third as Ryan Klosterman scored on Cesar Nicolas' sacrifice fly after getting hit by a pitch and taking third on a double by John Kaye off the right field wall.
They tacked on another in the fourth on a RBI single by Matt Zeller that capped three straight one-out hits reeled off the by the Commodores.
A Commodore error opened the door for three unearned runs in the fifth as Tennessee grabbed a 3-2 lead on a two-run double by Czarniecki off the left field wall.
Nick Crowe drew a lead off walk and was followed by a one-out single by Walter Sevilla. Chad LeGate reached on an error by third baseman Tony Mansolino on a hot shot to load the bases. Crowe plated on Brian Cleveland's sacrifice fly as both Sevilla and LeGate moved up on the play setting the table for Czarniecki's shot.
Vanderbilt retook the lead, 4-3, in the sixth Klosterman's fourth home run after Zeller, who doubled with one out and took third on a balk, scored the tying run on a ground out.
Tennessee responded with a run in the seventh as Czarniecki drove home Sevilla who led off with a double. But Vanderbilt wasted an excellent scoring opportunity in the bottom of the frame as it loaded the bases with one out, only to leave them stranded.