One day after clinching a spot in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Vanderbilt climbed above .500 for the first time this season.
The Commodores rallied for a 5-4 victory in 10 innings against No. 4 LSU on Sunday and took two of three from the Tigers to win their third straight SEC series. After a 2-1 defeat on Friday, the Commodores evened the series on Saturday with a 6-3 victory.
LSU (39-13, 17-10) broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth. The Tigers brought in closer Nick Goody, who had allowed just two runs in 27 appearances. But that didn’t scare Mike Yastrzemski, who led off the ninth and tied the game with a solo home run.
The Commodores then handed Goody his first loss of the season when Tony Kemp hit a two-out single in the 10th to score Andrew Harris from second. Relief pitcher Will Clinard worked his second straight 1-2-3 inning to seal the victory and improve to 6-2 on the season.
Vanderbilt (25-24, 13-14) now is in a three-way tie for seventh place with Mississippi State and Arkansas and is a half game behind Georgia. The Bulldogs’ game against South Carolina on Sunday was rained out.
The Commodores are a game above Auburn but five games above Tennessee and six ahead of Alabama.
With just three regular-season games remaining – at home against No. 25 Ole Miss starting on Thursday – they can finish no worse than 10th place in the SEC. That’s good enough to make the league tournament on May 22-27 in Hoover, Ala. This is the first year the field has expanded from eight to 10 teams.
The Commodores, who were eight games below .500 on March 23, continued their hot streak. They picked up their ninth win in 11 games by coming back against one of the league’s best closer in arguably the toughest road environment in the SEC.