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Vandy advances to championship game

1635 days ago
SEC staff
Photo: Jimmy Mitchell

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HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 2 Vanderbilt dominated No. 3 Texas A&M in Game 15, 12-3 advancing to the SEC Baseball Tournament championship game.

Vanderbilt set themselves apart with a five-run fifth inning and a two-run sixth to put them ahead 11-3. The Commodores' Dansby Swanson hit a two-run homer in the seventh after Jeren Kendall was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

"I like the offensive push that was made throughout the game," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "We played very well. We had a lot of quality at-bats and there were a couple of walks that we maximized. It was a good bounce back game in a lot of ways."

In the Commodores' dominating fifth inning, Rhett Wiseman reached home first on a throwing error by Tyler Stubblefield after Swanson's bunt. After another Aggie error, Zander Wiel reached first and Swanson scored from third. On a Jeren Kendall triple, the Commodores brought in Wiel and Toffey to score. For the second out of the inning, Penn Murfee hit a sac fly to left field as Kendall crossed home.

"(Dansby Swanson) doesn't come in here looking to hit home runs," Corbin said. "He just comes in to center the ball. He certainly can hit it."

Vanderbilt kicked off the second inning with Will Toffey's two-run homer hit to left field, scoring Zander Wiel and Toffey. A&M answered in the bottom of the second on Nick Choruby's single to score Nick Banks, bringing the score to 2-1, Vanderbilt.

Wiel hit the Commodores' second home run of the day in the third, followed by another run scored by Toffey on a wild pitch by the Aggies' Andrew Vinson.

Texas A&M came within one run in the bottom of the third on Logan Taylor's deep double play, which ran in Ryne Birk to home and Nick Banks' single to right field when Taylor got the run.

"This is big time baseball right here," said Commodore right-fielder Rhett Wiseman. "This is playoff baseball. If we can play well in these types of situations then we'll be good to go. This team is young. There are a lot of young guys on this team and a lot of new energy. I think the dynamic of this team is different than teams in the past. There's a lot of good stuff going on in the dugout and on the field."

Vandy improves to 42-18 on the season. Relief pitcher John Kilichowski took the win, improving his record to 3-3 on the season. Texas A&M falls to 45-11, as pitcher Andrew Vinson took the loss, moving to 4-2.

Vanderbilt advances to the 2015 SEC Baseball Tournament championship game to play the winner of No. 4 Florida vs. No. 1 LSU, Sunday at 3:30 p.m., CT on ESPN2.