Last Modified: Sunday, May 13, 2012 7:16 PM
BATON ROUGE — Vanderbilt second baseman Tony Kemp provided a 10th inning RBI single Sunday to lift the Commodores to a 5-4 victory over No. 3 LSU in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU (39-13, 17-10) has clinched at least a tie for the SEC Western Division title as the Tigers have a three-game lead over Ole Miss (14-13). LSU owns a tiebreaker over Ole Miss, so the Tigers have clinched at least the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament.
The Tigers’ next game is Tuesday night, when LSU plays host to Nicholls State at 6:30 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium.
“This loss stings a lot; it’s our toughest loss of the season,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We have to rebound from this, get back to practice tomorrow and start building the players up again. We didn’t really swing the bats well all weekend, and a lot of that is due to the arms Vanderbilt sent to the mound. But, there are no excuses - we just have to play better as we head into the final week of the regular season.”
Vanderbilt rightfielder Mike Yastrzemski tied the game four on a ninth-inning solo shot off of LSU closer Nick Goody.
Kemp plated pinch hitter Andrew Harris with a single to center field in the 10th inning and LSU was retired in order in the bottom half of the frame. Goody (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in two innings of work.
Vanderbilt reliever Will Clinard (6-2) picked up the victory after entering the game in the eighth inning. Clinard worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing no hits with no walks and no strikeouts.
LSU took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning after shortstop Austin Nola drove home second baseman JaCoby Jones with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Nola reached base four times and added a pair of RBI in his first game in the leadoff spot. Centerfielder Arby Fields added three walks and a run and rightfielder Mason Katz added an RBI single.
Vanderbilt leftfielder Jack Lupo collected three singles and drove in a run, centerfielder Connor Harrell added two hits, including a triple, and Yastrzemski smacked a double in addition to his ninth-inning homer.
Vanderbilt (26-25, 13-14) scraped together a pair of runs in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Conrad Gregor led off the inning with a double just inside the left field line. Eades hit Spencer Navin witha pitch and Harrell reached on an infield single to load the bases. Third baseman Vince Conde plated Gregor on a sacrifice fly and Lupo scored Navin on a single to center.
LSU plated a pair in the bottom of the third. Katz scored Nola on an RBI single and first baseman Tyler Moore plated Fields on a sacrifice fly.
Nola drove home designated hitter Grant Dozar to increase LSU’s lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth.