Vanderbilt drops finale to UIC

Feb. 26, 2017

Box Score

Nashville, Tenn. -- No. 7 Vanderbilt dropped the series finale 5-2 in 11 innings to UIC on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (4-3) claimed a quick lead in the first inning with two runs scoring on a Julian Infante single to center field but the Vandy offense struggled the rest of the day, collecting just five hits over the next 10 innings. The Flames (4-3) cut the VU lead in half in the fifth with a two-out single from Matt Bottcher, and two innings later, the Flames pulled even in the seventh with a solo homer off the bat of Bowen Ogata to make it 2-2.

UIC threatened in the top of the ninth inning against Vanderbilt reliever Matt Ruppenthal, putting runners on first and second with no outs. But the Dores pulled off an impressive double play with Will Toffey fielding a bunt and throwing to Connor Kaiser covering third for the first out before Kaiser threw across the field to complete the double play. Ruppenthal immediately got VU out of the inning unscathed with a ground ball to Kaiser at shortstop.

Vanderbilt looked to end it in the bottom of the 10th, loading the bases with one down but Jeren Kendall struck out and JJ Bleday flew out to right field to end the threat.

The Flames took final control in the 11th when Mickey McDonald led off with a double off the right field wall and scored on a single from Scott Ota, who hit a 0-2 pitch through the right side of the infield. Rob Calabrese added a two-run homer over the left field wall to seal the game.

Ruppenthal took the loss, giving up three runs on five hits over four innings out of the bullpen. Jason Delay had three of the Commodores' seven hits.

The loss overshadows an impressive start from freshman Drake Fellows. The right-hander gave up two runs on seven hits over a career-high seven innings with nine strikeouts, the most by a Commodore this season. The big freshman struck out the side in the first and ended the second and third innings with strikeouts to strand runners. Bottcher's RBI-single in the fifth inning snapped a streak of 10.2 scoreless innings to start his collegiate career.

Alex Padilla picked up the win out of the UIC bullpen with one scoreless inning of work. Connor Ryan earned his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 inning. McDonald and Ogata led the way with three hits apiece for the Flames.

The Commodores begin a five-game week on Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Southeastern Louisiana at Hawkins Field. The Dores and Lions will play two games in the midweek before Vandy welcomes Cal State Northridge to town next weekend.



Proud Sponsors of Commodore Athletics