Vanderbilt squeezes past South Carolina for seventh straight victory

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 12:35am
Staff reports

When playing with house money, no risk is too big.

That was the case for Vanderbilt, which used a squeeze bunt on a two-strike count to push past fifth-ranked South Carolina for a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night on the second day of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The fifth-seeded Commodores (31-25), who have won a season-high seven straight, including their first two tournament games, play second-ranked and No. 3 seed Florida on Thursday (8 p.m., CSS).

Tied 2-2, freshman Vince Conde led off the top of the eighth with a double down the left-field line. Tony Kemp moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Mike Yastrzemski appeared poised to swing away but on a 1-2 count, he squared to bunt. He hit a slower chopper to pitcher Tyler Webb, whose only play was to first, allowing Conde to score easily.

Right-hander Will Clinard pitched the final two innings. He allowed one hit for his fifth save.

Clinard followed Kevin Ziomek (5-6), who got the win after two hitless and scoreless innings. Starter T.J. Pecoraro went five innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and giving up two runs — both in the second — on five hits.

The second-seeded Gamecocks (39-16) contained Vanderbilt for the first four innings. But the Commodores finally got the leadoff batter on in the fifth when Connor Harrell doubled. Two sacrifice flies later, Harrell crossed home plate to slice the deficit in half.

The next inning Yastrzemski led off with a single and advanced to second on a groundout. From there he trotted home with two outs as Spencer Navin tied the game with a single through the right side of the field.

3 Comments on this post:

By: wiseguy1 on 5/24/12 at 7:30

Gutsy call by a gutsy coach. Kudos to Corbin & his staff in finding a recipe for this squad to be successful. Nothing like getting hot for tournament time.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/24/12 at 7:46

This is absolutely amazing. However all good things come to an end.

By: joe41 on 5/24/12 at 9:56

Vanderbilt is the absolute best at small ball. Congrats to Conde, Kemps, and Yaz for playing it to the hilt!