NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt unloaded for eight runs in the fourth inning and overpowered Austin Peay in the middle frames as part of a 19-6 victory on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The No. 12 Commodores (8-1) picked up four RBIs from Ethan Paul and Jayson Gonzalez and produced the most runs since scoring 20 against UIC on Feb. 28, 2016. It also marked the fourth time in the last five games Vandy has plated 15 or more runs.
Vanderbilt entered the night ranked fourth nationally in stolen bases and added to its cause, collecting five in the squad’s seventh-straight victory. The 19 hits and 32 total bases marked season highs while the team belted three home runs for the second time in three games.
After falling behind 1-0 in the third, the Dores answered in the home half, using a two-run homer from Ethan Paul to take the lead. The junior’s 12th career home run extended his reached-base streak to nine games and sparked the first of four-consecutive run-scoring innings.
In the fourth, Paul shot a two-run single through the right side before Vanderbilt added a two-run double from Pat DeMarco and run-scoring double from Gonzalez. Vandy totaled eight runs on four hits in the frame, with the biggest boost coming from Walker Grisanti.
Making his first start of the season, the eight-hole hitter tagged a two-out, three-run homer into the right field bleachers. The long ball was his first since May 25, 2016, when the then-freshman helped the Dores walk off against Texas A&M at the SEC Tournament.
Vandy pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth while collecting four more in the eighth. JJ Bleday led off the inning with his fourth-career homer, and second of the season, while Harrison Ray, Kiambu Fentress and Garrett Blaylock each came off the bench to produce RBIs as part of another four-hit frame.
Mason Hickman (2-0) picked up the victory for Vandy, tossing four innings in his first collegiate start. The freshman permitted two walks and one run while walking three and fanning a pair. Maddux Conger added four innings and Erik Kaiser locked up the win in his Vanderbilt debut, permitting just one hit while fanning a pair and touching 96 miles-per-hour in the ninth.
The win snapped Austin Peay’s (6-2) three-game win streak and came in the Governors first road test of the season. Starter Harley Gollert (1-1) was saddled with the loss, permitting six hits and four runs in 3.1 innings. A combined six Austin Peay pitchers walked nine hitters including Austin Martin and DeMarco, who each worked two free passes.
The Dores return to action on Wednesday, wrapping up a 10-game homestand against Indiana State at 4 p.m.