Vanderbilt's stock continues to rise.
The Commodores continued their torrid run with a 4-1 victory over Georgia to open the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Tuesday night in Hoover, Ala.
Vanderbilt won its sixth straight and 13th in its last 15. The fifth seed in the 10-team tournament also advanced to a second-day matchup with No. 2 seed South Carolina on Wednesday (8 p.m., CSS).
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Vanderbilt (30-25) put together a two-out rally. Mike Yastrzemski was hit by the pitch, Anthony Gomez reached on an infield single and Conrad Gregor drew a walk. That set the stage for Spencer Navin. The sophomore catcher took a 3-2 pitch back up the middle for a single that scored Yastrzemski and Gomez.
Gomez added insurance in the fifth by driving in Yastrzemski. Then Tony Kemp added to it with another two-out hit, an RBI single in the sixth.
Drew VerHagen and Brian Miller combined to scatter six hits and allow just one earned run. VerHagen (6-2) worked 5 1/3 innings in his seventh start of the season. He gave up five hits, including a leadoff double to Levi Hyams in the second inning which led to Georgia’s lone run.
Miller, a side-arming right-hander, picked up his team-leading fifth save. He allowed a walk and a harmless single in the eighth but was otherwise perfect in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and twice delivered 1-2-3 innings.
Jack Lupo’s diving catch in left field to rob Colby May of an extra-base hit ended the game.
For the fourth straight year, Vanderbilt won its SEC tournament season opener. The Commodores claimed the title just once, in 2007. They were runners-up last year.
The win also locked up another 30-win season — the ninth under coach Tim Corbin. The only time his squad hasn’t achieved the feat was in 2003, his first season at Vanderbilt.