By the time the first pitch was thrown in the Diamond Dogs' afternoon game against the Commodores, it was a known fact that the Red and Black had advanced as far as the penultimate game of the tournament and Georgia was playing for a shot at the conference tourney title. Unfortunately, it was not to be for the Bulldogs.
Vanderbilt leapt out to an early lead in the bottom of the first frame, beginning with a Pedro Alvarez home run to center field. Ryan Flaherty thereafter punched the next pitch up the middle for a base hit, whereupon Brian Hernandez doubled to left field to score Flaherty and Dominic de la Osa singled to center field to score Hernandez. The 'Dores proceeded to the top of the second stanza sporting a 3-0 lead.
The hits just kept on coming for the Commodores.
The Diamond Dogs made a valiant effort to get back into the game in the top of the third inning. After Ryan Peisel and Matthew Dunn led off by grounding out, Jonathan Wyatt punched a base hit into right field. The bases were loaded for Josh Morris when Joey Side was hit by a pitch and Gordon Beckham drew a base on balls. When Morris was plunked, as well, Wyatt came around to score, but the budding rally was squelched when Bobby Felmy popped up to end the inning.
It was all Vandy from that point forward. The Commodores plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth, one more in the bottom of the fifth, and three more in the bottom of the sixth. While the squad from Nashville was racking up 15 hits on the day, Cody Crowell was in the process of pitching seven solid innings in which he gave up one walk and one earned run.
Alex Feinberg walked to start the seventh inning, then the Vanderbilt second baseman took second on a wild pitch. David Macias and Alvarez walked, as well, which allowed Flaherty to record an R.B.I. on a fielder's choice. When Macias scored an unearned run on a Georgia throwing error to give the Commodores an 11-1 lead, the 10-run "mercy rule" was invoked and the contest was concluded two innings prematurely.
Although the loss dropped the Diamond Dogs to 41-19 on the season, the Red and Black now find themselves in the running for Athens to be one of the 16 host sites for the N.C.A.A. regionals. That announcement will come at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday and, although Georgia fans are disappointed that the Bulldogs' tournament run ended one game too soon, the Red and Black's drive to make it to, and advance in, the S.E.C. tourney bodes well for the Diamond Dogs' postseason prospects in the N.C.A.A. field.