Walker Buehler struck out a career-high eight in his fourth win of the year on Tuesday.
March 18, 2014
Nashville, Tenn. - No. 6 Vanderbilt used a pair of three-run innings to take down crosstown rival Belmont 8-4 on Tuesday afternoon at Rose Park.
The Commodores' (19-3) offense struggled through the first three innings with no hits but Bryan Reynolds changed that with one swing in the fourth. The freshman smashed his second home run of the season into the left field bullpen to lead off the inning and give the Dores the lead. The offense turned up the heat in the fifth inning with three more runs aided by three Belmont (7-13) errors. Five more Vandy hits plated three more runs in the sixth and put the game away. Freshman Karl Ellison led off the inning with his first career triple and scored the first run of the inning on a balk. Dansby Swanson singled with two outs in front of Ro Coleman. The freshman turned on an inside pitch and lined his first career home run off the left field foul pole for a two-run shot. Nolan Rogers added a pinch-hit, RBI-double in the seventh to get the Commodores to eight runs.
The offense was not the only part of the Dores' game to shine on Tuesday as Walker Buehler and the defense did their part. Buehler struck out a career-best eight on his way to his fourth win of the year. The sophomore used the strikeout to get himself out of trouble all day, ending the first three innings with strikeouts with runners aboard. The Bruins finally scratched out a run with a triple and sacrifice fly in the fourth. Buehler allowed one run on four hits with two walks to go along with his eight strikeouts.
The Vandy defense sparkled with highlight plays from Swanson and Reynolds. Swanson made three gems in the game with his first coming in the fourth inning when he caught a ball over his shoulder Willie Mays style in shallow right field. His quick decision and quick throw on a pop up turned into an inning ending double play in the fifth, and after a move to third base in the ninth he recorded the final out of the game when a runner rounded third base too far and Swanson tagged him out on a base hit. Reynolds' web gem came in the sixth when he made a diving catch on the warning track for the first out of the inning.
Eight Commodores contributed hits in the win as the offense posted its third straight 10-plus hit game. Swanson and Reynolds led the way with two hits apiece with Reynolds driving in two runs to push his team-best total to 21. Greg Brody led Belmont with two hits as starter James Buckelew took the loss allowing seven runs, four earned, on eight hits over six innings.
Vanderbilt returns to SEC play this weekend with the team's first weekend road trip since opening weekend with a visit to No. 21 Mississippi State. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. on CSS.