HOUSTON – Sam Houston State overcame a pair of deficits, defeating No. 12 Vanderbilt 7-6 on a two-run home run from Hunter Hearn in the 10th inning during Friday’s opener of the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
The Commodores (9-2) let a three-run lead in the ninth slip away as the Bearkats (7-2) tied things up on a pair of home runs, including a game-tying solo shot from Jordan Cannon on a 0-2 count with two down.
Vanderbilt answered in the 10th inning as Austin Martin rifled a double into left-center, plating Walker Grisanti from first base for a 6-5 advantage. A pair of strikeouts stranded Martin, however, and in the home half, Andrew Fregia singled through the left side and Hearn drilled a 1-2 pitch into the Crawford Boxes in left field to end the game.
Tyler Brown (1-1) was saddled with the loss, allowing a pair of hits and as many runs while recording two outs. The defeat overshadowed a strong start from Drake Fellows, who limited Sam Houston to five hits and two runs while fanning eight and walking another in six innings.
Vanderbilt took an early lead, striking the second time through the order to take a 1-0 lead on back-to-back doubles from Connor Kaiser and Ethan Paul. An inning later, the Dores chased Sam Houston starter Riley Gossett by erupting for four hits and as many runs.
After a leadoff single and walk, Stephen Scott dropped an RBI-single into shallow left field. Julian Infante, making his return to the lineup, lined a single off the wall in left-center field to score Jayson Gonzalez. With two down, Kaiser drove a two-run single into left-center for a 5-0 lead.
Sam Houston broke through for a pair in the sixth as designated hitter Blake Chisolm lined a ball just beyond the outstretched Alonzo Jones. The left fielder made hard contact with the wall, going down on the play, as Chisolm raced around for a two-run, inside-the-park home run.
The result snapped Vandy’s eight-game winning streak. The Commodores return to action on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Louisiana. Right-hander Patrick Raby (0-1, 1.80 ERA) will make his first start of the season.