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May 11, 2013Vanderbilt used back-to-back big innings, including a seven-run fifth to claim a 11-3 win at Kentucky in game one of a day-night doubleheader in Lexington.
The No. 2 Commodores fell behind 1-0 in the second when Wildcats sophomore Max Kuhn with a solo homer over the left field fence, but Vanderbilt responded with a bit of its own power in the fourth as senior Connor Harrell and redshirt freshman Zander Wiel each homered to build a 3-1 lead.
The fireworks continued an inning later as the 'Dores posted seven hits including back-to-back RBI doubles by Xavier Turner and Mike Yastrzemski. Jack Lupo started the big inning with a single to right and SEC Player of the Year candidate Tony Kemp reached moments later with a single to first. Lupo scored with Turner's double to center while Yastrzemski drove in Kemp with a double down the right-field line.
Turner scored a few moments later when Conrad Gregor's grounded out on an odd play up the first base line, and Zander Wiel drove in Yastrzemski and Harrell with a single. Catcher Spencer Navin drove in two more runs to cap off the scoring and give VU a commanding 10-1 lead.
The run support allowed Commodore Friday ace Kevin Ziomek to cruise on by as the left-hander put in 6 innings of work, allowing seven hits, one earned run and striking out four to move to 10-2 on the year. He becomes just the 10th pitcher in Vanderbilt history to post 10 or more wins in a season, joining the likes of Commodore greats David Price, Jeremy Sowers, Jeff Peeples, Sonny Gray and teammate Tyler Beede
Kentucky native Walker Buehler worked the final three innings of the game to help the Commodores preserve its staff for both the rest of the series in Lexington as well as next week's adjusted weekend schedule against Alabama. The freshman righty struckout a pair of batters while allowing five hits.
Tony Kemp led all Commodore hitters with three on the day while Connor Harrell added his second homer of the day in the seventh. The Texas native now has 10 round trippers on the season as well as 56 RBI's. Zander Wiel's 3 RBI's in the victory gives him 18 in 10 starts this season.
Wildcats sophomore A.J. Reed took the loss after surrendering 12 hits and 10 earned runs in five innings of work.
Vanderbilt moves to 43-6 on the year with the victory and improves its SEC record at 22-2, matching a school record. The Commodores are now 15-3 away from Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt will look to clinch its 13th straight SEC series dating back to last year with another game against the Wildcats tonight. First-pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Tyler Beede (12-0) will matchup against Kentucky freshman RHP Kyle Cody.
The game will broadcast live on CSS Sports or ESPN3.com.