NASHVILLE--- Vanderbilt exploded for 10 runs in the second inning and cruised to a 21-3 win over Niagara Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (3-0) swept the season opening series outscoring the Purple Eagles 46-5 in the three games. VU recorded 24 hits on Sunday and had 46 hits for the weekend.
"I think we started getting more comfortable today offensively," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "I think we made some adjustments with the different speeds that we faced this weekend and we made our own bed a little bit more today than taking advantage of their mistakes."
Sophomore righthander Jack Armstrong (1-0) gave up three runs on five hits in the first, but settled down and allowed four hits and no runs in the next four frames. He scattered nine hits over five innings with three strikeouts and three walks to pick up his first collegiate win.
Jason Esposito had a big day at the plate, going 4-for-6 with a home run, five RBI and three runs scored. His homer, a two-run shot in the first inning, was the Commodores first round-tripper of the year.
"I thought today we came out and made better contact," said Esposito. "I think we showed more patience at the plate and guys throughout the lineup came through. Anytime you hit the ball like we did you gain more confidence and it felt nice to hit a homer today."
Vanderbilt trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the second, before recording seven hits and scoring 10 runs in the inning to take a 12-3 lead. Regan Flaherty had a two-run double to start the scoring, while Esposito and Connor Harrell added RBI singles. Flaherty then capped the inning with a double with the bases loaded that cleared the bases.
Andrew Giobbi had a RBI single and Curt Casali followed with a two-run homer onto the roof of Memorial Gym in left field to push the lead to 15-3.
Casali added a RBI double to left in the fourth and VU plated another run in the sixth when Bryan Johns scored on a grounder to make it 17-3.
Esposito continued his hot day with a two-run double to right-center in the seventh and VU added a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Johns and capped the scoring when Andrew Harris was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Aaron Westlake and Harrell each had three hits, while Giobbi, Casali, and Flaherty each had two to help pace the offensive attack.
For the weekend the pitching staff allowed just five runs while striking out 30 batters and walking eight in 27.0 innings of work. Defensively VU made just one error and that came in the first inning when Jack Armstrong threw a ball away at first base on bunt attempt that allowed a run to score.
The Commodores will be back in action on Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Austin Peay at Hawkins Field. VU will then head to Los Angeles next weekend to take on UCLA, USC and Oklahoma State in the first annual Dodgertown Classic.