Nashville, Tenn. – No. 2 Vanderbilt finished off the team’s third sweep of the season with a 5-2 win on Sunday at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (15-1) started off with a bang in the bottom of the first inning with Jeren Kendall’s fourth home run of the year to leadoff. His sacrifice fly in the second pushed the VU lead to two runs but the Musketeers (3-11) climbed back into the game in the fifth with a two-out rally. Vandy starter Kyle Wright recorded two quick outs but a double by Matt Fallon started the trouble. Leadoff hitter Matt LaRue punched a single through the left side to cut the VU lead in half before Wright escaped the inning.
Vanderbilt wasted no time, responding with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to four runs. Bryan Reynolds worked a leadoff walk and moved to second on Penn Murfee’s second single of the game. A walk to Will Toffey loaded the bases for Jason Delay. The junior’s sacrifice fly scored Reynolds from third. A Kyle Smith groundout and a Liam Sabino single into left field gave the Commodores all the runs they needed.
Xavier made it exciting, however, getting two runners on in the eighth before Hayden Stone was summoned from the bullpen and needed just five pitches to get an inning-ending double play. Stone allowed the first two runners to reach base in the ninth with a walk and a double before finishing off the Commodores’ third series sweep and notch his third save of the season.
Wright earned the victory to move to 3-0 on the season allowing one run on five hits with seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings. The right-hander’s start was interrupted in the first inning when rain caused a nearly one-hour delay. The sophomore had allowed the first two Musketeers to reach base in the rain before the delay but recorded three quick outs after the delay to end the first.
Murfee led the Dores with three hits in the win adding a triple in the sixth to go along with a pair of singles. Sabino collected a pair of singles in his first start as the designated hitter with Kendall driving in two runs, hitting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season.
Xavier starter Trent Astle took the loss allowing two runs on four hits over 2.1 innings. LaRue paced the offense with four hits and one RBI.
The Commodores return to action Tuesday night at Hawkins Field at 6:30 p.m. against Northern Illinois on SEC Network+.