Palo Alto, Calif. -- No. 2 Vanderbilt battled back to win the nightcap at Stanford and earn a split of an impromptu doubleheader Thursday night at Sunken Diamond.
With the forecast calling for rain over the weekend, the two teams decided to play a doubleheader Thursday and will now not play Friday. The Commodores (9-1) dropped the team's first game of the season in the opener to snap an eight-game winning streak to open the season but bounced back in the second game to even the series.
Ben Bowden was sharp in earning his first win of the season in the second game working five innings in Vanderbilt's 4-1 win. The big lefty gave up an unearned run in the second but settled down to allow only a single the rest of the way, working a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. The Commodores' bullpen took it from there. Matt Ruppenthal worked himself into a jam in the sixth and the seventh. The right-hander picked up a big double play and a groundout to get out of the jam in the fifth and struck out the side in the seventh around walking the bases loaded. Hayden Stone earned his first save of the season, retiring all six batters he faced over the final two innings.
The Dores and Cardinal (7-4) traded runs in the second inning but Vandy broke through in the sixth with a pair of runs. Tyler Campbell led off the frame with a triple into the right field corner and was immediately followed by Ro Coleman, who roped a double into the left field corner to put Vanderbilt in the lead for good. Penn Murfee delivered the insurance run with a clutch, two-out single before Vandy pushed a fourth run across in the ninth.
Kris Bubic took the loss allowing three runs, two earned, over five-plus innings. The Cardinal had just two hits in the game.
In the opener, Stanford scored single runs in each of the first three innings and used a solid effort from freshman Tristan Beck, who earned the win with five innings of work, two win 4-1.
Vanderbilt starter Jordan Sheffield took the loss allowing three runs, two earned, on nine hits in five innings. The Cardinal put the leadoff runner aboard in four of the five innings against Sheffield and made the right-hander labor throughout the outing.
The Commodores' offense failed to come up with the big hit over the final innings, leaving five runners on base including three in scoring position over the final four innings. Will Toffey led the way with a pair of hits in the loss.
Vanderbilt and Stanford are slated to resume the series Saturday at Sunken Diamond.