March 8, 2014
Corbin | Highlights
No. 8 Vanderbilt posted the team's fourth shutout victory on Saturday with a 5-0 win over Winthrop to clinch the series at Hawkins Field.
Starting pitcher Jared Miller has been on the bump for three of the Commodores' (14-2) four shutouts this season. The big lefty started out with a pair of strikeouts but a single and double quickly put two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first. Miller, however, forced a fly to center field to end the threat that started a stretch of five straight retired. In the third, Eagles' (6-8) leadoff hitter Brad Kaczka placed a double down the left field line with one out and moved to third on a groundout to first base to set up another Winthrop scoring chance. But Miller again rose to the occasion, this time with a ground ball to second baseman Dansby Swanson to end the inning. Miller pitched out of his final jam in the sixth after T.J. Oleczuk singled to lead off the inning and stole second. The junior responded by sandwiching a strikeout in between two groundouts to get out of the mess.
The Vandy offense scored all the runs the team needed it in the first two innings. Freshman Bryan Reynolds started a big day with his first career triple in the first then scored on Zander Wiel's single for the first run of the game. Reynolds was back at it again in the second inning, knocking in Swanson, who had tripled with one out, to make it 3-0 VU. Xavier Turner continued his hot streak at the plate with a single to score Reynolds and make it a four-run Vanderbilt lead. Turner is now 9-for-14 over his last four games.
Reynolds finished the day with a career-best four hits going 4-for-5 with three runs scored joining Swanson and Turner as the only Commodores this season to post four-hit games. Kaczka and Olesczuk led the Eagles with two hits apiece.
Winthrop starter Joey Strain took the loss giving up five runs on eight hits over 6.1 innings. Vanderbilt freshman Hayden Stone combined with Brian Miller to finish off the Dores' shutout. Stone struck out two batters to run his total to 10 strikeouts in 4.1 innings this week.
Vanderbilt's four shutouts this season already top last season's total of three. The Commodores have allowed three runs or less in all 14 victories this year.
The Commodores and Eagles wrap up the series tomorrow with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Sophomore Tyler Ferguson gets the ball for the home team.