LONG BEACH, Calif. – Vanderbilt held Long Beach State hitless through six innings before a three-run barrage in the seventh proved to be the difference in a 4-3 defeat at Blair Field on Wednesday night.
The No. 15 Commodores (10-4) jumped ahead three runs after five innings, thanks to a two-run single and solo home run from Jayson Gonzalez. The Covina, Calif., native produced three RBIs and finished 2-of-3 at the plate.
The Dirtbags (5-8) pushed one across in the sixth without a hit but broke through an inning later. In the seventh, a Zach King (0-1) wild pitch plated another after a pair of singles and a walk. Reid Schaller entered to pitch with two down and two runners in scoring position and was greeted by a Chris Jimenez lined chopper to the right side. First baseman Julian Infante made a diving snag on the play but the Jimenez legged out the infield single as two runs scored. The Dirtbags never relinquished the lead despite the Dores’ best efforts.
Down to its last out, Vandy received life courtesy of a Connor Kaiser infield single. With Philip Clarke at the dish, reliever Chris Rivera errantly attempted to pick off Kaiser, who moved up to second on the wild throw. Clarke kept the frame alive, fouling off three-straight as part of an eventual nine-pitch walk but Gonzalez was rung up on the 27th pitch of the inning to eliminate the threat and lock up the Long Beach win.
Vanderbilt starter Jake Eder drew the no decision after tossing five hitless innings while striking out seven and walking four. Eli Villalobos earned the win with 1.2 innings of relief for the Dirtbags.
The Commodores return to action on Friday, opening the Dodger Classic at UCLA. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT from Jackie Robinson Stadium.