Vanderbilt hit a season-high four home runs, but reliever Chase Reid surrendered a two-out blast in the bottom of the ninth Friday as Vanderbilt lost 9-8 to Florida State in the opener of an NCAA baseball tournament Super Regional series.
VU overcame a six-run deficit and led twice – the second time in the eighth inning – as it scored at least once in five straight innings beginning in the fourth.
Freshman Mike Yastrzemski led off the eighth and put the Commodores on top 8-7 after the Seminoles had tied the game with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
It was the third straight inning the lead-off hitter had a home run. Joe Loftus started the sixth with one, and Jason Esposito opened the seventh with one, which gave Vanderbilt its first lead, 7-6.
Curt Casali also had a solo shot in the fourth. Casali had a game-high four hits (he had two singles and a double), drove in two runs and scored one.
Reid, Vanderbilt’s third pitcher allowed just two hits in two innings. Both were home runs.
He surrendered a game-tying blast to Jayce Boyd in the eighth and allowed the game-winner to Mike McGee after having gotten the first two outs of the ninth on two pitches.
Taylor Hill was Vanderbilt’s starting pitcher instead of Sonny Gray, who needed an extra day of rest. Gary threw 136 pitches in two appearances at the Louisville Regional.
Hill gave up six runs in the first two innings but then retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced. He was pulled after he allowed a lead-off walk in the seventh.
Gray will start Game Two on Saturday for the Commodores, who are winless in three all-time Super Regional contests.
SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Vanderbilt (45-19) vs. Florida State (46-17)
(at Howser Stadium, all times CDT)
Friday: Florida State 9, Vanderbilt 8
Saturday: Noon (ESPN)
Sunday (if necessary): Noon (ESPN)