On Saturday afternoon in Nashville, Mickey Westphal pitched a gem for the Diamond Dogs, recording six scoreless innings in seven frames' worth of work and surrendering only three runs to the hometown Commodores in the second outing of the Red and Black's three-game set with Vanderbilt, but, despite that promising start, it was, alas, not to be.
Georgia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and added another run in the fourth before the host squad's three-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth frame gave the 'Dores the lead.
The Diamond Dogs tied the game with a run in the sixth and there was no additional scoring until the top of the ninth, when a Joey Side single to start the proceedings set up a Jonathan Wyatt sacrifice bunt that advanced the Georgia center fielder into scoring position, from which a Jason Jacobs single brought him home and handed the Diamond Dogs a 4-3 advantage.
The Red and Black's approach in the top of the ninth stanza was so effective that the Commodores borrowed it in the bottom of the inning. Alex Feinberg led off with a single, Ryan Davis got him to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Matt Meingasner brought him home with an R.B.I. double to tie the game at four runs apiece.
At that point, Matt Buschmann was brought in as a pinch runner for Meingasner and, after a David Macias walk, Pedro Alvarez singled through the right side. Buschmann scored to end the game.
The Bulldogs dropped a heartbreaker in which they played fundamentally solid baseball for eight and a half innings. The Red and Black put up 14 hits and came within two outs of wrapping up their second straight victory over Vandy, but Joshua Fields's inability to retire the side after his predecessors on the mound had performed so admirably doomed the Diamond Dogs.
The deciding game of the series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in the Music City.