Nashville, Tenn. – No. 3 Vanderbilt remained perfect on the season with a 20-8 demolition of UIC on Sunday at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores’ (8-0) offense was firing on all cylinders early on Sunday, scoring five in the first inning and 14 in the first four frames. Bryan Reynolds opened the scoring with a two-run double in the first inning and Karl Ellison capped the five-run rally with his first home run of the season, a two-run shot off the scoreboard in left field. Jeren Kendall joined the party in the second with his second single in as many innings, this one scoring Tyler Campbell. Three batters later Alonzo Jones made it 9-0 Vanderbilt with a two-run single. Will Toffey added a two-run double in the third and Ro Coleman’s RBI-single stretched the VU lead in the fourth.
With the Vandy offense piling up runs, starter Kyle Wright was dominating on the mound. The sophomore turned in three scoreless innings to earn the win. Wright struck out two in the first but was greeted in the second inning by a leadoff single. The VU defense picked him up with a double play and Wright finished the frame with his third punch out of the day. A leadoff double by UIC (3-4) opened the third but Wright took care of the inning himself striking out the side to run his total to six.
The two teams traded big innings in the eighth with the Flames scoring seven runs on four hits before the Dores answered with six in the bottom half of the inning. Walker Grisanti ripped a triple into the right-center field gap for two runs to start the rally. Nolan Rogers then picked up his first hit of the year to score Grisanti before scoring on Tyler Green’s first hit of the season, a double to left field. Tristan Chari wrapped up the rally with his first hit of the year a two-run single down the right field line. Excluding the ninth inning this season, the Vanderbilt offense has scored at least one run in eight of the 11 innings in which the opponent has scored.
For the seventh time in eight games, Vanderbilt posted at least 10 hits with a season-best 20 on Sunday and a season-high 15 different Commodores recording at least one hit in the win. Ellison’s big day at the plate included three hits to match his career-high. Toffey and Jones each drove in three runs in the win while Coleman and Reynolds each scored three runs. Kendall remained hot with two more hits and has now recorded at least one hit, one run and one RBI in all eight games this season.
The Commodores completed a perfect 5-0 week while scoring 55 runs and hitting .350 as a team led by Reynolds who went 11-for-20 (.550) with nine RBI and nine runs scored.
UIC starter Mitchell Schulewitz took the loss after giving up seven runs on five hits in one-plus inning. Derrick Patrick led the way for the offense with two hits and two runs scored.
The Commodores host Tennessee Tech on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Hawkins Field.