March 6, 2012

Dodd's Grand Slam Leads Baseball Past Vandy, 6-5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (7-5) defeated cross-town rival Vanderbilt (4-8) for the first time since 2009, and only the fifth time in the NCAA era, as the Bruins topped the Commodores by a score of 6-5 on Tuesday night at Rose Park.

Down 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore William Dodd (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) stepped to the plate with the bases loaded to face Vandy's Tyler Beede.  The first pitch the Belmont left fielder saw looked good, as Dodd took one swing and gave the Bruins a 6-3 lead with his first career home run.  The grand slam was the second for BU on the season.

Dodd drove in freshman Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.), junior captain Drew Turner (Shelbyville, Tenn.), and freshman Jamie Ritchie (Buford, Ga.).  Beaty reached base on an error by Beede, Turner drew a walk, and Ritchie singled through the left side to load the bases for Dodd.  The Belmont sophomore took full advantage of his opportunity and gave the Bruins a three-run lead they enjoyed for most of the game.

After allowing a single run to the Commodores in the top of the first, Belmont scored a pair of run in the first two innings to take their first lead of the game at 2-1.  Junior captain Zac Mitchell (Cordova, Tenn.), recently named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week for the first time, continued his hot hitting with a triple to lead off the first.  He later scored on a double to left field by sophomore Greg Brody (Dacula, Ga.).

It was also Dodd who gave BU its first lead of the game, singling down the left field line.  He drove in Turner on the play, who had reached on an error by the Vandy second baseman earlier in the inning.  Turner stole second to get into scoring position.

The Bruins gave the lead up in the third, as Vanderbilt scored two runs on a hit by pitch, a single, and a double.  Belmont then combined Dodd's grand slam with five innings of shutout baseball to make it to the ninth unscathed.

Senior Brandon Frensley (Hendersonville, Tenn.) picked up the win, pitching the fourth and fifth innings for the Bruins.  The left-hander allowed no hits and struck out one batter during the stretch.  Freshmen Austin Coley (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.) also left the Commodores hitless, taking the mound in the sixth and seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Senior Garrett Fanchier (Lebanon, Tenn.) came in to close the game out in the ninth, and after allowing Vanderbilt to pull within one, at 6-5, the right-hander got the Commodores' Tony Kemp to ground into a fielder's choice to give Belmont the victory.  Fanchier picked up his third save of the season.

Belmont totaled six runs on eight hits and one error.  Vanderbilt finished with five runs on six hits and two errors.  

The Bruins will next host Murray State tomorrow, Wednesday, March 7 at 4:00 p.m.  Vanderbilt will host San Diego for a three game series this weekend.