by David Rutz - Vanderbilt loaded the bases without getting the ball out of the infield in the bottom of the ninth against Tennessee but couldn't get the big hit to rally back, and the Volunteers won 8-6, just their second win in their last 10 games against the Commodores (31-22, 12-15 Southeastern Conference).
A bunt single by Aaron Westlake followed infield hits by Steven Liddle and Curt Casali to load the bases and chase Tennessee starter Nick Hernandez. Matt Ramsey replaced him and got Andrew Giobbi to fly out to shallow center and then struck out Jason Esposito. Jonathan White hit a fly ball to deep left but it was caught at the warning track to end the game.
"Ramsey's a hard-throwing kid, a lot of adrenaline going," said coach Tim Corbin. "I thought Johnny White's (hit) had enough, (but) not enough leg to get there."
Westlake says it was more the Commodores not executing than really being fooled by the Volunteers (24-29, 9-19).
"We're better than that as a team," Westlake said. "If there's a guy on third base with less than two out, we should be able to do our job and get him in, and we just didn't do that tonight."
Westlake expects Vanderbilt to make adjustments and come out in Friday's game with a better mindset at the plate in clutch situations.
"We'll have to come out tomorrow with a better approach, and I think we'll do that," he said.