Nashville, Tenn. - No. 2 Vanderbilt cruised by Eastern Illinois Tuesday night 8-3 at a chilly Hawkins Field.
With temperatures hovering in the 30s for the fifth straight game, the Commodores (13-1) did not take long to warm up, scoring six runs in the first three innings en route to the team's 11th straight win. The hot hitting Vince Conde started the Dores' rally in the second inning with a double before coming around to score on Spencer Navin's single through the left side. Connor Harrell capped the four-run inning with a two-run single to center to push his season total to 25 RBI. Back-to-back RBI-singles from Navin and Xavier Turner in the third tacked on two more runs and gave starter Walker Buehler all the offense he needed.
Buehler (1-0) tossed six scoreless innings to earn his first collegiate victory. The freshman scattered five hits and three walks to go along with his four strikeouts. The Panthers (3-8) threatened the right-hander only once, loading the bases in the fourth inning with two outs before Buehler responded by getting the next batter to bounce out and end the threat. Fellow freshman Tyler Ferguson was impressive in two innings of relief posting consecutive 1-2-3 innings.
Conde led the way for the Commodores going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. The sophomore is 14-for-25 (.560) over his last seven games scoring 11 runs and driving in six more. Navin and Mike Yastrzemski each added two hits and two RBI in the win.
Caleb Howell led the Panthers with two hits and starter Jaden Widdersheim (1-3) took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in two innings of work.
Vanderbilt hits the road for a three-game series at #15 Oregon beginning Friday night at 8 p.m. CT. The Dores and Ducks will battle Saturday at 4 p.m. CT and Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. The Commodores return to Hawkins Field next week to host Buffalo on Wednesday, March 13.