NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt built a six-run lead through the first four innings and then held on for a 7-6 victory over Alabama on Thursday night.
The Tide (31-23, 13-14) trailed 7-2 going to the ninth inning. After a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases, leadoff hitter Kenny Roberts hit a grand slam to left field to cut the deficit to one.
But Vanderbilt retired the next two batters to end the game.
Connor Harrell and Kyle Smith knocked in two runs apiece for the second-ranked Commodores (47-6, 25-2 SEC).
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Chance Vincent had a pair of hits and knocked in a run for the Tide. Mikey White had a pair of hits and scored both runs.
Charley Sullivan started and took the loss. He gave up six runs on 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Taylor Wolfe (Columbus High) pitched two innings and allowed one run for the Tide. Wolfe missed all of last season and most of this one after having Tommy John surgery.
The two teams will play Game 2 of the series Friday night at 7:30 p.m.