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Insider

Rapid Reaction: Vanderbilt 5, LSU 4

5/13/2012

BATON ROUGE -- No. 4 LSU (39-13, 17-10) lost its first SEC series since April 22 on Sunday, dropping a 10-inning decision to Vanderbilt (26-25, 13-14), 5-4.

Overview: Despite moving into the last slot of the rotation for an extra day off, LSU starter Ryan Eades continued his recent struggles from the mound against Vanderbilt. The Commodores jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Eades opened the frame by allowing a double and hitting a batter with no outs. Vandy took advantage with a sacrifice fly and a RBI single to open the lead.

Eades only managed 4.2 innings while allowing seven hits and three earned runs, but the Tigers' offense kept him out of position to take the loss. LSU rallied in the third inning to tie the score in a similar fashion, with Mason Katz knocking a RBI single followed by a sacrifice fly from Tyler Moore.

The Tigers took the lead in the fourth inning when Austin Nola singled to score Grant Dozar -- but the damage should have been more extensive. LSU loaded the bases with two outs thanks to two walks from Vandy starter Tyler Beede and his replacement Kevin Ziomek, but .500 hitter Raph Rhymes popped out to end the threat.

The 'Dores answered right back in the fifth frame when Anthony Gomez singled to score Mike Yastrzemski from second base and tie the game, 3-3.

The Tigers tried their best to end the game early when Nola popped a sacrifice fly to score Tyler Hanover in the eighth inning. But clinging to a slim 4-3 lead, Nick Goody did something uncharacteristic -- he blew a save. Goody allowed a monstrous solo home run to Yastrzemski with no outs in the ninth to re-tie the score, 4-4. He recovered to record three straight outs, however.

Turning point: After a fruitless ninth for LSU, the Vandy offense went back to work on Goody in the 10th inning.

Connor Harrell opened the extra frame with a leadoff triple, and although he was eventually thrown out at home, it didn't stop Vanderbilt from knocking two more hits against Goody -- one of them a RBI single to ease into a 5-4 lead.

The Tigers went quietly during their half of the 10th -- Jordy Snikeris, Jared Foster and Tyler Hanover went down in order to seal the loss.

Key player: Yastrzemski's home run saved the game for Vanderbilt, and it capped off a day that saw him manage two hits, one RBI and a pair of runs on a whopping six trips to the plate.

Key stat: The Tigers' bullpen looked poised to continue its hot run of form when it took over for Eades in the fifth inning. Chris Cotton and Nick Rumbelow combined to throw 3.1 innings of relief while allowing just one hit and no runs. It seemed like Goody would finish off the relief shutout, but he was dusted up for four hits and two runs.

Miscellaneous: Despite the loss, LSU has the SEC West championship wrapped up with three SEC games to play. The Tigers go into the final weekend of conference play trailing Kentucky by one game and South Carolina by half a game.