Vanderbilt slugs its way past Miss. State, advances to SEC Baseb - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

SEC Baseball Tournament: Vanderbilt slugs its way past Miss. State 16-8

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BY Sean Cartell, SEC Digital Network

The Vanderbilt baseball team celebrates during its 16-8 win over Mississippi State Saturday in the semifinals of the SEC Baseball Tournament. (SEC Network Photo)

HOOVER, Ala. -- Top-seeded Vanderbilt exploded for seven runs in the second inning Saturday and held on to win a 16-8 slugfest against fifth-seeded Mississippi State to advance to its third consecutive Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship Game at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Vanderbilt (51-8), the nation's No. 1 team, will square off with No. 2 LSU on Sunday for the SEC Tournament Championship. The game is slated for a 3:30 p.m. CT start and will be carried live on ESPN2.

The two teams combined for 24 runs and 23 hits in the game, including 19 hits by the Commodores. Vanderbilt scored the majority of its runs in the second (7) and fifth (5) innings. Four Vanderbilt players had three hits in the game.

Vanderbilt players held an unusual warmup routine Saturday in the outfield of the Hoover Met before taking down Mississippi State. (abc3340.com)

TJ Pecoraro (4-1) picked up the win for Vanderbilt, pitching 6.0 innings in a starting role and allowing seven earned runs. Jared Miller picked up his second save of the season, toiling the final 3.0 innings and striking out three. Jacob Lindgren (4-3), the Mississippi State starter, took the loss for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State used seven pitchers in the game.

Vanderbilt first baseman Conrad Gregor went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Designated hitter Zander Wiel was 3-for-5 with three RBI, while second baseman Tony Kemp went 2-for-4 with three RBI.