Wright, Commodores push Clemson into loser's bracket

by - Staff Writer -
Wright pitched a solid seven innings for Vanderbilt
Wright pitched a solid seven innings for Vanderbilt

CLEMSON – Too much Kyle Wright, Not enough offense.

Vanderbilt scored three runs in the fourth and four in the sixth, and Kyle Wright held Clemson at bay for seven innings as No. 2 seed Vanderbilt routed No. 1 seed Clemson 9-4 Saturday night in the NCAA Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Clemson has a short turnaround and must face No. 4 seed UNC Greensboro Sunday at 1 p.m. The loser of that game is eliminated, and the winner advances to play Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. If Vanderbilt wins at 7 p.m., they move on to a Super Regional. If the UNCG-Clemson winner defeats Vanderbilt, they advance to play the regional’s final game at 4 p.m. Monday.

Vanderbilt improves to 35-22-1 with the win, and Clemson falls to 40-20 with the loss.

The Tigers squandered a chance to score the go-ahead run in the third. Logan Davidson singled with one out, and he moved to second on Reed Rohlman’s infield single. That brought up Seth Beer, who worked the count to 3-2 on Wright. Head coach Monte Lee put the runners in motion, and Beer struck out on a breaking ball in the dirt. Rohlman was thrown out easily at second to end the inning, and any momentum Clemson had was gone.

Vanderbilt put the leadoff man aboard in the first four innings and finally made Barnes pay in the fourth. A double and a single put runners on the corners with nobody out and Jason Delay’s double down the right field line scored the game’s first run. The Commodores added two more runs on a sac fly to center and double over the head of Seth Beer in left field to take a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Harrison Ray worked a two-out walk – just the 22nd walk Barnes has given up this season – and scored after back-to-back singles. A double down the left field line plated another run and a bloop double into shallow left scored two more opening up a 7-0 Vanderbilt lead.

Barnes - who picked up the loss and falls to 5-5 on the season - pitched 5.2 innings giving up seven runs - all earned - on 13 hits and a walk and struck out four.

The Tigers finally got to Wright in the sixth. Rohlman singled to center with one out and moved to second on Beer’s slow roller to first. Pinder walked on four pitches, but Jackson struck out for the second out. Andrew Cox picked up the slack, however, lining a two-run double to right-center that made it 7-2. Jordan Greene slapped a single past the second baseman, and Cox scored to make it 7-3.

Jeren Kendall laced a RBI double to right center in the eighth off reliever David Beasley for Vanderbilt’s eighth run.

Wright's night was done after seven innings. He gave up seven hits, three runs (all earned) while walking one and striking out nine. He gets the win and improves to 5-5 on the season.

Vandy reliever Zach King ran into immediate trouble in the eighth. Beer led off the inning with a solo shot to right for his 15th homer of the season, making it 8-4 Commodores. Pinder followed with a double down the left field line. Two outs later, Chris Williams pinch-hit for Greene and hit a laser to left that diminutive left fielder Ro Coleman caught while falling backward.

Vandy added another run off reliever Carson Spiers in the ninth for the final score.

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