By David Rutz - Vanderbilt suffered another tough loss to Tennessee Friday night, falling in extra innings, 7-6. Kentucky defeated Florida 8-7 to get within half a game of the Commodores in the SEC standings and prevent Vanderbilt from clinching the final spot in the SEC Tournament.
The Commodores appeared poised for a huge come-from-behind win thanks to senior Jonathan White, who hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the eighth to put Vanderbilt up 6-5 and cap a four-run rally.
The Volunteers rallied with a single run in the ninth, but the Commodores had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the inning to win it, putting runners on second and third with one out. Aaron Westlake struck out though, and after Andrew Giobbi walked on four pitches to load the bases, Joe Loftus was fanned to end the threat. In the 10th, Tennessee pushed across the eventual winning run on a chopper that bounced into left field, and Vanderbilt went in order in its turn at bat to end the ballgame.
"It's the way it goes," said Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin. "That'll be the story of the game. Not being able to put the ball in play with people at third base six different times, not being able to close out a game. It was there for the taking."
The Commodores can still ensure themselves a spot in the tournament with a victory tomorrow. Corbin doesn't plan on making any adjustments, not after two straight games that have barely slipped through his team's fingers.
"Got to win, that's all there is to it,"Corbin said. "We've got what we've got on the field. All we have to do is try and win a baseball game, that's it."