Georgia hammers Vanderbilt on Thursday
Georgia roughed up Kumar Rocker for six runs over five innings, as the Bulldogs blasted seven home runs on the night and hammered Vanderbilt. 14-2, at Nashville’s Hawkins Field on Thursday night.
The junior gave up his first three home runs of the season, and picked up his first loss in eight starts. Rocker had rolled through his first seven starts, winning each.
Georgia's Connor Tate blasted two home runs on Thursday, as did former Commodore Garrett Blaylock. Moore allowed four homers in the ninth, including one to Riley King and another to Ben Anderson.
It was an all-around frustrating night for the Commodores, who collected eight hits and walked 10 times, but left 15 men on base. Dominic Keegan and Jack Bulger led Vandy with two hits apiece.
The Bulldogs (19-10, 4-6) shut Vanderbilt (24-4, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) down with a collection of six pitchers, none of whom threw more than 2 1/3 innings. Will Pearson (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings and picked up the win.
"We didn’t respond very well offensively," coach Vanderbilt Tim Corbin said. "We had the machine guns, they had the squirt guns."
Vanderbilt also wasn't sharp defensively, a season-high four errors, which included an uncharacteristic two from shortstop Carter Young.
It was Vanderbilt's worst loss of the season, it's worst in the league since 2018 and the first time it has allowed more than 10 runs all year.
It snapped a nine-game winning streak. The Commodores maintain their overall first-place lead in the SEC, a half game ahead of Tennessee, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Rocker (7-1) had a rough first inning. Anderson singled through short, Cole Tate walked on a 3-2 pitch and then Corey Collins belted a ball over the right-center-field bleachers, giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage before Rocker got an out.
Rocker sailed through the next four innings, allowing just two runners.
But Connor Tate led off the sixth with a homer to left, King singled and Blaylock homered to right, knocking Rocker from the game in favor of Nelson Maldonado.
“I think the first inning, they landed a couple of punches," Corbin said. "You get the single, the walk the home run, I thought he did a nice job of settling down in the (middle innings)… but they ambushed him. … Their bats looked quick.”
It didn't get better. Hugh Fisher struggled in the seventh, allowing three runs (one earned) thanks to four walks, a hit batsman and two wild pitches and Moore, who threw a perfect eighth, gave up three straight home runs to start the ninth.
The teams play the second game of the series on Friday night at 6:30, with Jack Leiter starting for Vanderbilt against Georgia's Ryan Webb. The game will be shown online on the SEC Network Plus.
The Commodores were without starting left fielder Cooper Davis (hamstring), Isaiah Thomas (groin) and second baseman Tate Kolwyck (hamate). None of the three are on the 30-man roster, meaning, they won't play this weekend.
Calvin Hewett started in right, his first start of the year.
Javier Vaz came in for Hewett in the seventh, marking his first appearance in the outfield at Vanderbilt.
The three runs allowed before one out were more than Rocker had allowed in a game all year.
Rocker’s fastball sat at 93-94 in the first inning, according to the TV gun. It hit 95 later.
GA 1: Collins home run to right center scored Anderson, Cole Tate. GA, 3-0
VU 1: Bulger single scored Keegan. GA, 3-1
GA 6: Connor Tate home run. GA, 4-1
GA 6: Blaylock home run scored King. GA, 6-1
GA 7: Cole Tate, Young scored on Young's fielding error. GA, 8-1
GA 7: Connor Tate scored on Harber walk. GA, 9-1
VU 7: Romero scored on balk. GA, 9-2
GA 9: Connor Tate home run. GA, 10-2