March 4, 2014
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No. 8 Vanderbilt shut down a red-hot offense on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field and posted the team's third shutout of the year in a 4-0 win over Tennessee Tech.
The Golden Eagles (11-2) entered Tuesday's game hitting .335 as a team with a streak of seven straight games with at least 10 hits. Vandy starter Walker Buehler attacked the Tech lineup working a perfect first inning before pitching himself into trouble in the second. The sophomore struck out the first batter of the second and followed it up with three straight walks to load the bases. But his defense picked him up with Vince Conde fielding a ground ball, stepping on second and firing to first for an inning-ending double play.
Buehler issued a leadoff walk to start the seventh and freshman Hayden Stone was summoned from the bullpen to keep the Commodores' (11-2) 3-0 lead intact. The right-hander dominated in his longest outing as a Commodore, striking out the side in the seventh and eighth. Back out for the ninth, Stone fanned the first two batters of the inning before getting the final out on a pop up to shortstop to seal the Dores' third shutout of the season and notch his first career save. Vanderbilt's three shutouts this season already match last season's total.
The offense scratched out a run in the second inning when Xavier Turner led off with a single and moved around to third on a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. Nolan Rogers delivered the first run of the game with a groundout to second base for a 1-0 VU lead. After back-to-back doubles from Turner and Vince Conde in the fourth inning it was Rogers at the plate with another opportunity and the freshman delivered again with a run-scoring groundout. Chris Harvey tacked on a second run in the inning with a single to center. Zander Wiel put an exclamation point on the night with his first home run of the season, a solo blast off the left field scoreboard.
Wiel and Turner led the way with two hits each in the win. Buehler earned the win with six-plus innings of work allowing only two hits to go along with three strikeouts. Stone struck out eight and allowed only a single in three innings for his first collegiate save.
Tennessee Tech starter Jacob Honea took the loss allowing two runs on three hits and three walks over three innings.
Vanderbilt returns to action tomorrow night at Middle Tennessee State with first pitch set for 6 p.m.