NASHVILLE - No. 2 Vanderbilt used a four-run eighth inning to rally by Arkansas State for a 7-3 win Tuesday night at a windy and rainy Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (8-1) and Red Wolves (6-2) battled back and forth through the first seven and a half innings before the home team mounted a rally. Xavier Turner worked a walk off Arkansas State reliever Seth McWilliams to open the eighth inning and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Vince Conde. Tony Kemp put runners on the corners by showing off his speed and beating the pitcher to first base on a bunt for a base hit. The Dores dialed up more small ball with Jack Lupo dropping a bunt down the first base line to score Turner from third and take the lead for good. Lupo reached on an error and came around to score on Connor Harrell's two-run single to center field. Mike Yastrzemski capped the rally one batter later with a sacrifice fly to left-center field to push the VU lead to four runs.
Brian Miller (1-0) made quick work of the Red Wolves in the ninth; working a 1-2-3 inning to notch his first win of the season. Miller tossed 2.1 scoreless innings out of the pen striking out three to earn the Vandy bullpen's second win of the year. Walker Buehler turned in a solid start allowing three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. The freshman cruised through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth and allowing three runs.
Mike Yastrzemski paced the Commodores' 11-hit attack with a season-best three hits. Harrell continued to drive in runs at a high pace with three more Tuesday night. The senior now has 17 RBI in the Dores' first nine games. Vince Conde, starting his second straight game at shortstop, led the offense early. Conde teed off on a pitch in the bottom of the third, sending it over the left field wall for his first home run of the season. In his next at-bat, he put Vanderbilt in front with a RBI-single. Zach George led the way for the Red Wolves going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fifth. McWilliams (2-1) took the loss allowing one run on one hit in his 1.1 innings of work.
The Commodores stole seven more bases in the game to run the team total to 38 for the year. Yastrzemski swiped a career-best three bases and Kemp added two more steals to his total. Three Vanderbilt pitchers combined to strike out 13 Red Wolves marking the seventh time in the team's first nine games the hurlers have fanned at least nine batters.
Vanderbilt returns to action tomorrow with a game against Evansville. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Hawkins Field. The Commodores welcome Illinois-Chicago to town this weekend for a three-game series. Friday's game is set for 4 p.m., Saturday's at 2 p.m. and Sunday's game has been moved to a noon start due to the Flames' travel plans.