Georgia Leads Vanderbilt As Rain and Flooding Suspend Play



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NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Even with torrential rain and flooding the Nashville area hadn’t  experienced in 30 years, Vanderbilt was eager to face Georgia Saturday at Hawkins Field, and after a two-hour and 20 minute delay, play began but the game eventually was suspended.

An estimated six to 10 inches of rain fell in a 12-hour span Saturday in the area that caused “extremely dangerous” flooding, according the National Weather Service.  The severe weather cancelled the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball game, but the 17th-ranked Commodores (33-12, 10-9 SEC) told Georgia (13-30, 3-16 SEC) to come to the park for the contest.

At 8:27 p.m., Vanderbilt ace sophomore right-hander Sonny Gray threw his first pitch. He took care of the Bulldogs in the first, and the Commodores grabbed a 1-0 lead in their half of the frame. Brian Harris led off with a base hit, went to third on a wild pitch by right-hander Justin Grimm and scored on a groundout by Anthony Gomez. Georgia got the run back in the second. Freshman Robert Shipman reached on a one-out single and with two outs scored on a double down the left field line by sophomore Chase Davidson.

Vanderbilt regained a 2-1 advantage in the second. With one out, Andrew Giobbi lined a double to left and scored on a base hit by Connor Harrell. Georgia avoided further trouble on a nifty double play started by freshman third baseman Todd Hankins. He came up big in the fourth as Georgia took a 4-2 lead. With two on and two outs, Hankins tied the game with a run-scoring single, bringing Kyle Farmer home  who reached on a leadoff error by Aaron Westlake. After a single by Johnathan Taylor loaded the bases, freshman Zach Taylor notched his second of the night, a two-run single to make it 4-2. On the play, Johnathan Taylor was thrown out at third.

So far, Grimm has pitched three innings and allowed two runs on four hits with no walks and one strikeout. Meanwhile, Gray has allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits in four innings pitched. He has walked two and struck out three.

Another series of rain showers forced play to be suspended at 9:31 p.m., and the decision was made to wait one hour to try and resume play. The Southeastern Conference rain policy dictates that in the event of rain on Friday or Saturday, no game may resume after midnight local time.

A long day for Georgia got even longer with this latest delay. The Bulldogs left for their pregame meal at 12:30 p.m. and due to the flooding and highway traffic delays, the team was not able to return to its hotel until 6:45 p.m. Thirty minutes later, Georgia was back on the bus and headed to Hawkins Field for the game.

Forty-one minutes later, at 10:12 p.m., common sense finally prevailed, and the game was suspended. The plan is to resume play Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The teams would finish the suspended game, and the final game of the series would be seven innings, per the SEC rain policy.
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