Port Charlotte, Fla. - Top-ranked Vanderbilt has had a flair for the dramatic early this season, scoring the team's second straight walk-off win on Friday night with a 3-2 victory over Indiana State at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Commodores (3-1) and Sycamores (2-2) entered the ninth inning in a 2-2 game when the teams each had chances to win the game. Indiana State loaded the bases in the top of the frame when Jordan Sheffield issued three straight walks after getting the leadoff batter. Left-hander Ben Bowden entered the game and took care of business immediately with a strikeout and a fielder's choice to end the threat to swing the momentum back to the VU dugout.
Tyler Campbell ignited the Vandy rally in the bottom of the ninth with a single to center field with one out. Karl Ellison followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt but Sycamores' pitcher Ryan Keaffaber fielded the ball down the third base line then sailed his throw high and wide to first base allowing Ellison to reach and Campbell to go to third. After an intentional walk to Dansby Swanson, Rhett Wiseman was set up to be the hero with the bases loaded. The junior did not wait long, bouncing a 2-0 pitch up the middle into center field to give the Commodores their second walk-off victory in the team's first four games of the year.
Bowden picked up his first collegiate win with his stellar outing in the ninth. Carson Fulmer started for the Dores and tossed five solid innings. The Lakeland, Fla. native, pitching in front of a large crowd of family in friends, struck out six and allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. Lefty Philip Pfeifer turned in two more scoreless innings along with three strikeouts.
Wiseman drove in all three runs for the Commodores on Friday night, adding a two-run double to center field in the fifth that tied the game. Swanson and Tyler Green each chipped in two hits apiece in the win.
Landon Curry paced the ISU offense with two of the team's six hits. Keaffaber took the loss in relief allowing one run in the ninth. Sycamores' starter David Stagg allowed two runs on five hits and five walks over 4.2 innings.
The Commodores and Sycamores square off tomorrow at Charlotte Sports Park at noon CT. Lefty and Tampa, Fla. native John Kilichowski gets the ball for the Dores against fellow southpaw Jeff Degano.