After a 14-10 win on Saturday against Alabama, Vanderbilt stands alone in the SEC record books at 26-3, the best conference record in history.
South Carolina held the record since 2000 when it won 25 games.
“You don’t start out a season thinking that that’s going to happen,” coach Tim Corbin said. “I won’t be able to put this moment into proper perspective until the season is over, which I hope is a long time from now. It is quite a feat and it means playing good baseball on the road, finishing a series when it is so difficult to do so in a conference that is difficult to play in, but that is our kids and that’s our staff.”
Vanderbilt (48-7 overall) scored seven runs in the bottom of the second when five batters walked and all of them scored. For the game, seven of the nine Commodores who walked scored.
Alabama (32-24, 14-15), which led 1-0 going into the bottom of the second was within one again after four.
Vanderbilt restored its lead in the sixth, when it scored five times. Conrad Gregor’s bases loaded double was the big hit.
“That whole inning was a big inning for us and it kind of swung the momentum to our favor,” Gregor said. “I went up there with an all or nothing approach and put a good swing into it and drove the ball where it was pitched.”
Starting pitcher Tyler Beede came into the game with a 13-0 record but was pulled after he allowed four runs in the fourth inning (the Crimson Tide scored five in the fourth) and Vanderbilt’s lead was reduced to one run.
Beede did not factor into the decision and remained tied with Grayson Garvin (13-2 in 2011) for Vanderbilt’s single-season record.
Alabama had 14 hits against the three Commodores pitchers but left nine runners stranded.
“Credit Alabama because of all the teams we played this year, I have never seen a team come back from 7-1 and 12-6 leads and make it a game,” centerfielder Connor Harrell said. “I wouldn’t want them in my region, but we got enough to beat them [Saturday].”
Vanderbilt has won all 14 series this season and 18 straight, dating back to 2012. The Crimson Tide handed the Commodores' their most recent series loss, taking two of three last April.
“We are trying to play one game at a time and keep the same mentality from here on out because that’s what has worked for us all season,” said right fielder Mike Yastrzemski. “We are trying to prove a point that we are the best team in the SEC and the right way to do it will be to come away with a championship.”
The Commodores enter the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will open on Wednesday (4:30 p.m., CSS) against the winner of the No. 8/No. 9 seed matchup.
“We will go into that tournament the same way we have gone before and we are going to do the best we can to finish on top of it,” Corbin said.