Freshmen propel Vanderbilt by NIU

March 15, 2016

Box Score | Green's Photos

Nashville, Tenn. -- No. 2 Vanderbilt cruised to victory over Northern Illinois Tuesday night at Hawkins Field with a 9-2 victory.

The Commodores (16-1) busted the game open in the fourth inning with five runs on four hits. After a leadoff single from Will Toffey, freshman Alonzo Jones smashed a triple to center field to score Toffey all the way from first. Fellow freshman Ethan Paul quickly added to the lead, lining his first career home run over the left field wall to make it 4-1 Vandy. Tyler Campbell's RBI-single pushed the lead to four runs and Bryan Reynolds' sacrifice fly to the warning track in center field capped the rally.

Patrick Raby earned the win as the first of five Vanderbilt pitchers on the night. Raby was sharp in his two innings of work getting a double play and a strikeout to get out of the first inning. The right-hander quickly recorded the first two outs of the second before giving up a walk and a single. First baseman Penn Murfee picked up his pitcher, snaring a line drive to end the inning. Fellow freshman Chandler Day worked two scoreless innings of relief before Ryan Johnson finished off the Commodores' eighth straight win with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Jones and Paul led the way in the win, combining for five RBI and three runs scored. Paul's three RBI set a new career-best with Jones' two RBI pushing his season total to 17 in his first 14 collegiate games. The Dores drew nine walks in the win and have now walked 39 times in the team's last five games and have drawn 106 walks on the season (6.2 per game).

Northern Illinois (2-13) starter Joey Ceja took the loss giving up five runs on three hits and four walks over three-plus innings. Brian Sisler led the offense with two hits in the loss.

Vanderbilt opens Southeastern Conference play Friday night at Hawkins Field against No. 15 Mississippi State at 7 p.m. as part of the SEC Network's Bases Loaded program.



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