Vanderbilt: Pecoraro back on the mound, helps baseball team extend series streak

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 10:49pm

T.J. Pecoraro produced the Sunday start Vanderbilt was looking for.

In just his third start of the season and first in the weekend rotation in two months, the right-hander helped lift the third-ranked Commodores to a 5-1 victory over Georgia and another series victory.

Pecoraro, who has pitched just four times since Feb. 17 due to inflammation in his knees, allowed just one run on five hits in 4.2 innings. Though he didn’t pitch the minimum five innings to get the win, the junior set the table for Vanderbilt to pick up its 10th straight series victory.

The Commodores (35-6, 16-2 Southeastern Conference) have yet to lose a three-game series this season and have won 14 straight dating back to last season.

After dropping the opener 3-1, Vanderbilt rebounded in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday for a 15-4 victory to snap a brief two-game losing streak. Pecoraro received all the run support he needed early as the Commodores scored four runs in the second and third innings against Georgia (15-26, 4-14).

The bats stayed hot with 10 hits, the ninth time in 10 games Vanderbilt with at least 10. Xavier Turner, Mike Yastrzemski and Vince Conde had two hits apiece. Zander Wiel, Conrad Gregor and Yastrzemski each drove in runs.

Hard-throwing freshman Carson Fulmer entered in the fifth and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to pick up his first career win. Closer Brian Miller gave up just one hit in two innings to match the single-season school record with his 11th save. The Franklin native ties Navery Moore (2011) and Ryan Rote (2004).

Vanderbilt stays on the road to play No. 9 Louisville on Tuesday in the annual non-conference rivalry, the Battle of the Barrel.

Conference tournaments

• Vanderbilt finished fourth in SEC women’s golf tournament Sunday at Greystone Club outside of Birmingham, rallying from seventh place after Saturday’s play. The Commodores shot a combined 919 for the three days.

• Vanderbilt finished in a tie for seventh place with Missouri in the SEC men’s tournament at St. Simons Island, Ga. Sunday, carding a three-day total of 875. The Commodores’ sophomore Ben Fogler led the team with a 218, good for a tie for 20th in individual play.

Alabama won both the men and women’s tournaments. NCAA regionals are May 16-18.

• The No. 18 ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team (15-11) beat LSU 4-0, then lost to Florida 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament in Starkville, Miss., winning only the double point.

• The No. 16 ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team (16-10) avenged an earlier loss beating Auburn 4-1, then lost to Tennessee 4-1 Friday in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament in Oxford, Miss., Rhys Johnson won the lone point at No. 6 singles.

NCAA regionals are May 10-12 on campus sites.