Feb. 23, 2014
Nashville, Tenn. -
No. 9 Vanderbilt finished off the team's second sweep of the season and improved to a perfect 7-0 on the season with a 12-1 victory over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores' offense was relentless on Sunday scoring in seven of the team's eight at-bats, including a five-run second inning that gave the squad's pitching all the runs it needed. Vince Conde and Kyle Smith both walked to open the inning and freshman Jason Delay was hit by a pitch to load the bases for John Norwood. The junior worked a walk to force in the first run and then the floodgates opened. Dansby Swanson singled in a run and Bryan Reynolds plated the third run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Zander Wiel capped the rally by smashing a double off the left field wall for two more runs.
For the second time in three days the Dores' offense scored at will with seven different Commodores scoring at least one run and eight recording at least one hit. Smith, in his first start of the season, was impressive going 3-for-3 with a career-high four runs scored. The sophomore is a perfect 6-for-6 on the season. Wiel posted another multi-hit game going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Swanson again showed his athleticism on Sunday, this time in the first inning. With one out, Xavier Turner hit a towering pop up to shallow right field that UIC (3-4) second baseman John Coen caught but Swanson, tagging up at third, sprinted home ahead of the throw to score the game's first run.
Vanderbilt's pitching once again dominated with Tyler Ferguson earning his second win with a career-best 5.2 innings and career-high seven strikeouts. The right-hander allowed one run on two hits in the second after a leadoff walk but did not allow another UIC runner to reach scoring position until the sixth inning when he was lifted for freshman John Kilichowski. The lefty needed to just five pitches to get a groundout to end the inning and the Flames' last scoring threat. Freshman Hayden Stone, Adam Ravenelle and Brian Miller combined for three scoreless innings to put the game away with Miller striking out the side in the ninth. Through seven games the VU pitching staff has allowed three earned runs in 63 innings (0.43 ERA) with 14 walks and 70 strikeouts while allowing opponents to hit just .139.
For the fifth time under Head Coach Tim Corbin the Commodores are 7-0 to start the season marking the first time since 2011.
Vanderbilt will host five games at Hawkins Field this coming week with games against Western Kentucky on Tuesday, Evansville on Wednesday and a three-game series with Stanford beginning on Friday. First pitch for Wednesday's game against the Hilltoppers is set for 4 p.m.