AP photo by Dave Martin|
Vanderbilt shortstop Ryan Flaherty, top, tags out Ole Miss’ Logan Power at second base. Power beat the throw but slid off the bag.
out for No. 1
Four runs in 10th lift top-ranked Vandy into SEC title game
By John Zenor
Associated Press Writer
HOOVER — Shea Robin’s two-run single in the 10th inning capped a dramatic rally and lifted Vanderbilt to a 7-6 win over Ole Miss on Saturday night and into the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
Robin, who keyed the tying rally in the ninth, had a throwing error in the top of the 10th that helped the Rebels score three times.
All five batters reached for the Commodores (50-11) in the inning off reliever Cody Satterwhite, starting with Dominic de la Osa’s leadoff homer. Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty followed with singles and Matt Meingasner reached on a throwing error by third baseman Cody Overbeck allowing another run to score and moving runners to second and third.
Then Robin guided the winning single into right field.
The Commodores will face Arkansas on Sunday afternoon, seeking their first tournament title since 1980. They had forced the second game with a 13-1 victory over Ole Miss called after eight innings under the 10-run mercy rule.
The Rebels (37-23) were seeking their second straight tournament title.
In the 10th, the Rebels’ Overbeck reached on a one-out single and Zack Cozart and Logan Power followed with infield hits off closer Casey Weathers (11-2) to load the bases for Mississippi. Then, things got ugly.
Weathers got Overbeck hung up between third and home on a missed bunt try but Robin, who doubled and scored the tying run in the ninth, threw the ball out of third baseman Pedro Alvarez’s reach and into left field. Two runs scored and Power went all the way to third.
Then, shortstop Ryan Flaherty opted to throw home on a grounder by Peyton Farr. Both runners reached safely, making it 6-3.
Weathers also allowed a double by pinch-hitter Cullan Knight before escaping without further damage. All three runs were earned.
Robin had opened the ninth with a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by David Macias.
In the first game, Alvarez and de la Osa each hit two-run homers and Parker Hanks had a three-run shot for the Commodores — all in the first two innings.
That was more than enough support for the Commodores’ Cody Crowell, who had a shutout until Logan Power’s RBI single with two outs in the seventh. Crowell went the distance and allowed only three hits, striking out five and walking one.
Alvarez went 4-for-4 with a pair of runs to lead Vandy’s 16-hit attack.
De la Osa was 2-for-3 and also scored twice.
Ole Miss hit into five double plays and committed three errors in the game.
Flaherty set the school record by extending his hitting streak to 29 games in the second game, seventh-longest in the league’s history.
Arkansas 3, South Carolina 2: Duke Welker allowed one run in seven innings and Travis Hill escaped a bases-loaded jam in Arkansas’ victory over South Carolina, sending the Razorbacks into the championship game.
Arkansas (41-18) has allowed just two runs in three tournament games. The Razorbacks have never won the SEC tournament.
“It was just another outstanding pitching performance,” Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said.
The Gamecocks (42-18) had needed to win twice to move on.
This time it was Welker (6-5) providing the strong start on the mound for the Razorbacks.
After losing his last three decisions, he scattered seven hits in seven innings, striking out eight and not walking anybody. Van Horn said he could have stayed in the game but had a blister on his pitching hand.
“I’ve had some shaky outings the last couple of weeks,” Welker said. “This tournament was just kind of my shot, and I’m glad we got the win out of it.”
The Razorbacks’ starting pitchers have allowed just one run in 24 innings.
Hill pitched the final two innings, allowing one run but retiring the side in the ninth on two groundouts and a strikeout for his third save.
It’s only the second time Arkansas has started 3-0 in the SEC tournament and first since 1998.
The Razorbacks also played for the SEC football and basketball championships, losing both.
“I don’t want to jinx them but I like their chances as they move on,” South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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