Vanderbilt can't hold late lead, loses 4-3 at Georgia

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 5:41pm
Staff reports

ATHENS, Ga. – Curt Casali scored two runs, including a go-ahead one in the top of the eighth, but Vanderbilt failed to hold on and lost 4-3 to Georgia on Sunday.

Even with the loss, the Commodores (31-21, 12-14), who won the first two games of the series, remained eighth overall in the SEC standings with one weekend remaining. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will advance to the SEC tournament.

Georgia (34-17, 15-12) scored once in the eighth and once in the ninth and snapped its eight-game losing streak.

Nick Christiani, Vanderbilt’s seventh pitcher of the day, came on with one two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the go-ahead run at second. He got out of that with a groundout to the first hitter but faced, but in the ninth, he hit the first two batters and gave up a game-winning single to Matt Cerione.

Georgia’s Bryce Massanari tied it 3-3 in the eighth with a home run off Russell Brewer after Vanderbilt had gone in front without the benefit of a hit.

Casali and Aaron Westlake opened the top of the eighth for the Commodores with consecutive walks. Andrew Giobbi bunted them both over one base, and after Jason Esposito popped out, Casali scored on a passed ball.

Vanderbilt also led 2-1 after Riley Reynolds’ RBI single in the fifth. Westlake drove in Casali with a single in the second for the Commodores’ first run.

Giobbi, Brian Harris and Joe Loftus all had two hits for Vanderbilt, which will conclude the regular season with a three game series at home against Tennessee beginning Thursday.