Nashville, Tenn. – No. 2 Vanderbilt cruised by Radford 13-4 Tuesday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores’ (11-1) offense was primed and ready to go Tuesday but had to wait until the fourth inning to put runs on the scoreboard. Vanderbilt collected five hits in the first three innings but left all five baserunners on base before Karl Ellison jumpstarted the offense by legging out his first triple of the season in the fourth inning. Senior Kyle Smith needed just one pitch to score Ellison, lining a single into right field for a lead the Dores would not relinquish. Ro Coleman’s safety squeeze bunt pushed another run across and Bryan Reynolds’ triple off the top of the wall in center field made it a three-run Vandy lead. Reynolds trotted home on a balk to cap the rally.
Vanderbilt blew the game open with a big, six-run fifth inning, marking the seventh time this season the Commodores have scored at least five runs in an inning. Will Toffey’s leadoff double started the rally with Jeren Kendall’s two-run single capping it. Kendall’s single was the Dores’ sixth of the inning, matching a team season-best.
Freshman Patrick Raby cruised through the first four innings of his second career start allowing only a single to go along with seven strikeouts but quickly ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Back-to-back singles opened the frame for Radford (2-10) before Trevor Riggs hit a three-run homer to left field to bring the Highlanders within a run. Raby, however, shook off the homer and retired the next two batters to end his night. The right-hander picked up his second win allowing three runs on four hits in five innings to go along with seven strikeouts. Raby has now struck out 18 in his two starts (12.0 IP).
Four Commodores recorded multi-hit games in the victory led by three-hit games from Kendall and Smith. Smith’s three singles match a career-best and for Kendall it is his team-best sixth multi-hit game of the season. Tyler Campbell scored three runs to match his career-high while starting his third straight game at shortstop. Coleman, Kendall and Penn Murfee all drove in two runs each as 11 different Dores recorded hits in the win.
Freshmen pitchers Evan Steele and Maddux Conger finished off the victory with two innings each out of the bullpen. Steele was sharp striking out two in two perfect innings.
Radford starter Tyler Swarmer took the loss giving up six runs, three earned, on 10 hits over 4.1 innings. The Highlanders bullpen was touched up for seven runs, five earned, on seven hits over the final 3.2 innings.
Vanderbilt and Radford are set to meet tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Hawkins Field on SEC Network+. Freshman right-hander Chandler Day gets the nod for the home team.