NASHVILLE - The No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores improved to 9-1 on the year with a 3-1 win over Brown Friday night at Hawkins Field powered by starter Sonny Gray.
The junior right-hander struck out a career-best 15 batters while issuing no walks in his third start and first complete game of the season. Gray's only bump on the night was in the fifth inning when he struck out four batters yet allowed one run on two hits. The Bears did not have a base runner in the first four innings or the last three as Gray struck out five batters over the last three frames. On the night Gray set a new career-high in strikeouts passing his previous high of 11, set against South Carolina in 2009. He also pitched his second career complete game and first since South Carolina last season. He also became the first VU pitcher to strikeout 15-plus batters since David Price struck out 17 Austin Peay batters in 2007.
The Commodores' offense woke up in the eighth inning when Jason Eposito led off the inning with a double and moved to third base on an error after Aaron Westlake reached on a walk. Anthony Gomez played the hero driving in Esposito and Westlake to give the Dores their first lead since the second inning. Riley Reynolds drove in the game's first run with a ground out in the second. Esposito, Westlake and Gomez combined for six of the Commodores' eight hits on the night with two hits each.
Nashville native Matt Kimball tossed seven strong innings in the Bears' first game of the year, allowing one run on six hits across seven innings. Andrew Bakowski was pinned with the loss allowing two runs, one earned, on one hit.
Vanderbilt and Brown play tomorrow afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Grayson Garvin gets the ball for the Commodores against Brown's Kevin Carlow.