Alabama-Vanderbilt Boxscore Game 1
Alabama-Vanderbilt Boxscore Game 2
UA Season Stats
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Alabama scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning and a solid relief outing from third baseman-turned-closer Jake Smith in a 7-6 win over No. 28 Vanderbilt to complete the three-game sweep on Saturday at Hawkins Field in Nashville.
Alabama (27-13, 10-8 SEC) won the first game on Saturday 7-3 and earned its first sweep of the Commodores since the 2006 season in Tuscaloosa. It was Alabama’s first sweep in Nashville since the 2000 season. The Tide won the series opener 10-3 on Friday night. Vanderbilt (23-16, 7-10 SEC) suffered its first home sweep since losing three to Florida in 2004.
The Crimson Tide and Commodores were given permission by the SEC Office to play a double header on Saturday due to the threat of heavy rains in the Nashville area on Sunday. The Crimson Tide wraps up its five-game road trip with a 6 p.m. (CDT) game at South Alabama on Wednesday, April 22. The game will be played at Stanky Field on the USA campus.
Game Two – Alabama 0, Vanderbilt 0
Alabama junior third baseman-turned-closer Jake Smith had two hits, including a solo home run, and pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for the first save in SEC game this season, leading Alabama to a 7-6 win over No. 28 Vanderbilt on Saturday night at Hawkins Field in Nashville.
Smith earned his first collegiate save when he stranded the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth inning. Vandy shortstop Bryan Harris hit a one-out, solo home run to bring the Commodores to within 7-6. Jason Esposito walked and Riley Reynolds singled to left to put runners at first and second with one out. Smith then struck out pinch-hitter Richie Goodnow and the got Andrew Giobbi to bounce into a game-ending force play as the Tide complete its sweep of the Commodores.
“It’s good to get the save in a tight one-run game on the road,” Smith said after his 62-pitch performance. “It helps the confidence of this team and gets us going in the right direction.”
Smith also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. He doubled and scored UA’s first run in the second inning and launched a solo home run as part of a four-run sixth inning as UA took the lead and never relinquished it.
“I am very happy that we were able to win that type of game,” Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. “Smith did a great job and is a great competitor. He has good command of his fastball and throws the ball away. He has grown up and he loves being out there with the game on the line.”
Alabama scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 7-5 lead, highlighted by Smith’s solo home run and a two-run double by sophomore second baseman Ross Wilson. Wilson’s two-run double to right put the Tide ahead to stay.
The Commodores threatened in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners one the corners with one out before Smith moved from third base to the mound for UA and ended the threat. Smith struck out Westlake and got Loftus to tap back to the mound to end the inning.
Alabama’s bullpen, which has had its share of troubles this season, stranded six of seven inherited runners on Saturday and retired all three first batters on strikeouts.
Redshirt freshman Tyler White (1-0) picked up his first career win in his second SEC game. Sophomore right-hander Nathan Kilcrease also wriggled out of trouble in the fourth inning.
For the third straight game, Alabama scored first on Wes Henderson’s two-out single to right field in the second inning. Smith led of the inning with a double down the left field line and crossed the plate on Henderson’s two-out hit to right field.
Vanderbilt took its first lead of the double header with two runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Alex McClure started things with a one-out single to right and moved to third when catcher Andrew Giobbi stroked a ground-rule double to center field. Steve Liddle grounded out to score McClure and Aaron Westlake added a two-out single to center to score Giobbi with the go-ahead run.
The Commodores threatened again in the fourth inning putting runners at second and third with one out, before sophomore right-hander Nathan Kilcrease replaced starter Adam Scott. Kilcrease struck out McClure and got Giobbi to ground to end the inning as VU left two runners in scoring position.
The Crimson Tide regained the lead with two runs in the fifth inning, but left the bases loaded allowing the Commodores to stay in the game. Senior catcher Kyle Moore led off the inning with a solo home run to dead center field to tie the game at 2-2. Senior center fielder Alex Kubal walked with one out, took second on a balk and moved to third on Taylor Dugas’ ground out.
Chase Reid came in to replace VU starter Drew Hayes, who was making his second start in four days on the mound.
Hayes allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Reid walked Josh Rutledge and Wilson to load the bases and then hit Matthes with a 0-1 pitch to chase Kubal home from third with the go-ahead run. Reid then struck out Brandon May on three pitches to keep it a 3-2 game.
Vanderbilt capitalized with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning, scoring runs on three hits to take a 5-3 lead. Westlake reached on a one-out single and moved to third on Joe Loftus ground ball off the glove of first baseman Wes Henderson that was ruled a double. Brian Harris followed with a bloop double to right to score two runs put Vandy in front 5-4. Jason Esposito and Riley Reynolds walked to load the bases.
Tyler White replaced Kilcrease on the mound and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Harris to score and make it a 5-3 game. White then struck out McClure to avoid further damage.
Game One – Alabama 7, Vanderbilt 3
Alabama junior left hander Del Howell fired his first career complete game and recorded 10 strikeouts and the Crimson Tide hit three more home runs in a 7-3 series-clinching win over No. 28 Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
Howell (5-1) held the Commodores to two runs and six hits and recorded his third double-figure strikeout game of the season. He finished the game with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
Senior right-fielder Kent Matthes hit his NCAA-leading 22nd home run in the first inning and senior first baseman Wes Henderson and senior catcher Vin DiFazio stroked back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning. The Crimson Tide has hit 82 home runs in 39 games this season, including six in the first two games against Vandy.
Matthes hit a two-run home run to give the Crimson Tide to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Freshman left fielder Taylor Dugas led off the game with a single to left and scored on Matthes’ two-out home run off the batter’s eye in center field.
Vanderbilt’s Andrew Giobbi hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning to cut the UA lead to 2-1. It was Giobbi’s third home run of the season.
The Commodores tied the game with a run in the second inning on Giobbi’s two-out single to left. Bryan Harris drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and moved to third on a ground, before scoring on Giobbi’s two-out single off the left field wall. Dugas played the carom perfectly and gunned Giobbi at second base to end the inning.
Alabama got the lead back with two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-2 lead. Dugas started the inning with a double into the left field corner and moved to third on Rutledge’s single to center. Rutledge moved to second when Jonathan Taylor’s throw from center field struck the pitcher’s mound. After Ross Wilson struck out, Matthes was intentionally walked to load the bases. Following the walk to Matthes, VU starter Caleb Cotham then walked Brandon May to score Dugas from third base to put UA in front 3-2. Jake Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to right to score Rutledge and give the Tide the lead for good.
UA added another run in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead but left the bases loaded. Alex Kubal ripped a one-out double to right and scored on Dugas’ RBI single to left. The Tide then loaded the bases with one out against Cotham, who struck out Matthes and got May to fly out to end the threat.
Alabama got to Cotham in the fifth with back-to-back home runs by Henderson and DiFazio to stretch its lead to 7-2. Henderson has five home runs this season, including four in five SEC starts. DiFazio’s home run was his seventh of the year.
Cotham (5-4) took the loss after he allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Vanderbilt added a run in the sixth when Steven Liddle reached on an infield hit and scored on Curt Casali’s RB double to right-center. Casali became the second Vandy batter to be gunned down on the bases when Matthes fired the ball back to the infield to Rutledge who flipped the ball to a hustling first baseman Wes Henderson, who tagged out Casali between second and third.