NASHVILLE -- Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek did not mind the wintry mix that was falling at Hawkins Field on Friday afternoon striking out a career-best 15 batters in a complete game 9-0 win over Illinois-Chicago.
The Commodores' (10-1) hurler was never really threatened in his first career complete game. Only two Flames (3-4) reached scoring position and none reached third base as the left-hander steam rolled through the lineup striking out at least one batter in all but one inning and multiple batters in six of his nine innings. Ziomek allowed a single in the second but only one base runner after the second, retiring 12 in a row at one point and the final 10 he faced. Back out for the ninth with already a career-best 13 strikeouts, the junior induced a weak grounder back to the mound before punching out the final two batters to run his total to 15 for the night and become the first Commodore since Sonny Gray to strike out 15 in a game. Gray struck out 15 against Brown in March of 2011. The complete game shutout is the first for the Dores this season and first since T.J. Pecoraro shut out Ole Miss last May. Ziomek now has 33 strikeouts in 22 innings this season with 26 coming in his last two starts (16.0 IP).
Tony Kemp's single in the fifth broke up a scoreless game and gave Ziomek the only run he would need. Kemp pulled a ball through the right side to knock in Rhett Wiseman, who reached on a one-out double, from second base. The Dores blew the game open in the sixth with three runs without a hit before tacking on five in the eighth. Jack Lupo started the final rally by reaching on an error and scoring on Connor Harrell's double. Harrell now has 22 RBI on the year. Vince Conde capped the rally with a two-run homer over the left field wall to give him a home run in each of the three games this week. Wiseman and Kemp paced the VU offense with two hits apiece with Kemp driving in two runs.
UIC starter Tomas Michelson (2-1) was pinned with the loss allowing three runs on five hits and five walks over 5.1 innings. Alex Grunenwald had the Flames only hit of the night.
Right-hander Tyler Beede gets the ball for the Commodores tomorrow with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. at Hawkins Field. The Flames will counter with freshman Jack Andersen.