Story by Nikki Hood: Vanderbilt scored three in the fourth and four in the sixth in support of ace Kyle Wright to beat top-seeded Clemson 9-4 Saturday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. It’s the second year in a row the Tigers have lost in game two of their regional. Sunday they will face UNCG in an elimination game scheduled for 1:00 PM. The winner faces Vandy at 7:00 PM with the Commodores needing one win to advance to the Super Regional. There is a threat of inclement weather for Clemson Sunday.
Wright, who is projected as the first pick in next week’s draft, earned the winning going 7 innings, scattering 7 hits, allowing 3 runs and striking out 9. Clemson’s #1 statter Charlie Barnes took the loss.
Vanderbilt put the leadoff man aboard in each of the first four innings and finally made Barnes pay in the fourth. A double and a single put runners on the corners with nobody out and Jason Delay’s double down the right field line scored the game’s first run. The Commodores added two more runs on a sac fly to center and double over the head of Seth Beer in left field to take a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.
Harrison Ray worked a two-out walk – just the 22nd walk Barnes has given up this season – and scored after back-to-back singles. A double down the left field line plated another run and a bloop double into shallow left scored two more opening up a 7-0 Vanderbilt lead.
Barnes pitched 5.2 innings giving up seven runs – all earned – on 13 hits and a walk and struck out four.
The Tigers finally got to Wright in the sixth. Reed Rohlman singled to center with one out and moved to second on Beer’s slow roller to first. Chase Pinder walked on four pitches, but Weston Jackson struck out for the second out. Andrew Cox picked up the slack, however, lining a two-run double to right-center that made it 7-2. Jordan Greene slapped a single past the second baseman, and Cox scored to make it 7-3.
Jeren Kendall laced a RBI double to right center in the eighth off reliever David Beasley for Vanderbilt’s eighth and final run. Beer hit a solo homer to right center to cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 8-4.
Vanderbilt added a run in the ninth off of freshman pitcher Carson Spiers.
Clemson postgame press conference