Palo Alto, Calif. - Vanderbilt dropped the team's season opener at third-ranked Stanford Friday night 8-3 at Sunken Diamond.
The Cardinal jumped out to an early lead in the first inning with a Stephen Piscotty home run over the left field fence and never looked back scoring in six of the team's eight at-bats on the night. Stanford blew the game open in the third inning, scoring three runs on a pair of hits and two Vandy errors. A leadoff walk and hit batter by Commodores' starter Kevin Ziomek came around to score with Stanford first baseman Brian Ragira driving in a run and scoring the final run of the inning. Ragira led the way for the Cardinal going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Kenny Diekroeger, Lonnie Kauppila, Christian Griffiths and Jake Stewart all had two hits in the win. Piscotty, Griffths and Eric Smith each hit solo home runs for the Cardinal with Smith's going as an inside the park home run in the fifth inning.
The Commodores were held hitless by Stanford starter and projected MLB top pick Mark Appel for the first four innings until freshman Chris Harvey doubled with a smash to left field to open the fifth inning. Fellow freshman Vince Conde drove in Harvey two batters later with a sacrifice fly to put the Dores on the board. VU scored two runs in the ninth thanks to three straight base hits. Connor Harrell knocked in Mike Yastrzemski with a single through the left side and Conde came through again with a single to left to score Jack Lupo, who had entered as a pinch runner for Harvey. Tony Kemp extended his on-base streak to 31 games with a triple in the eighth inning, the sophomore's eighth career triple. Harvey was the only Commodore to collect two hits on the night, singling in the ninth to go with his double. Spencer Navin added his first collegiate hit with a double in the fifth inning.
Appel earned the win for the Cardinal working seven solid innings. The big right-hander allowed one run on two hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Ziomek was pinned with the loss for the Dores allowing five runs on six hits. The lefty fanned four and walked four in his first collegiate loss. Freshmen hurlers Brian Miller and Jared Miller each made their Vanderbilt debut. Brian Miller allowed two runs on four hits over 2.2 innings with three strikeouts. Jared Miller gave up one run on four hits in his two frames.
The loss marks the first opening day loss for Vanderbilt since 2009 when the Commodores dropped a 6-5 decision in 10 innings at Stanford.
The Commodores return to action tomorrow afternoon at Sunken Diamond against Stanford. VU is scheduled to send freshman right-hander Tyler Beede to the bump to face Cardinal lefty Brett Mooneyham. Game time is slated for 3 p.m. CT.