Nashville, Tenn. -- No. 2 Vanderbilt held off No. 15 Mississippi State to salvage a 12-6 win on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores' (17-3, 1-2) offense was all business in the first inning, scoring three runs to take an early lead. Jeren Kendall started the rally with a single and stolen base before moving to third on an error and scoring on Mississippi State's (14-6-1, 2-1) second error of the frame. That error put two runners aboard for Jason Delay. With two outs, the junior came through with his first big hit of the day singling down the left field line to score two runs.
The Dores looked to have blown the game open in the third when the team sent 10 men to the plate to score five runs on a season-best seven hits. But the Bulldogs crept back into the game in the middle innings scoring two in the fourth and two more in the fifth to climb within 8-5. Another Bulldogs run in the top of the seventh trimmed the Vandy lead to two runs with the tying run at the plate. Freshman Patrick Raby was called in from the bullpen and jammed pinch hitter Brent Rooker to get a pop up to first base to end the threat. Raby finished off his first career save retiring the next six Bulldogs in order to seal the Commodores' first Southeastern Conference victory of the year.
Vanderbilt pounded out 14 hits in the win with Delay's three-hit game leading the way. The junior matched career-bests with three hits and four RBI. His RBI-double in the third inning jump-started the five-run rally and his team-leading sixth sacrifice fly in the eighth inning scored the final run of the day. Freshman Alonzo Jones scored three runs and stole two bases in the win with fellow freshman Ethan Paul adding a pair of hits, including a double in the seventh. Jones' single in the third extended his hitting streak to eight games. Jeren Kendall, Bryan Reynolds and Tyler Campbell each contributed two hits as eight different Dores registered at least one hit and/or one RBI in the win.
Kyle Wright earned the win with five innings of work. The right-hander allowed a career-high five runs, one earned, on a career-high nine hits for his team-leading fourth win of the year. Wright battled out of jams in the first and second innings to keep Mississippi State off the scoreboard before allowing five runs over his final three frames. Ryan Johnson stopped the bleeding with a quick 1-2-3 sixth inning before giving way to Raby in the seventh.
Jake Mangum led the Bulldogs with two runs and two RBI with starter Daniel Brown taking the loss. The lefty allowed eight runs, five earned, on nine hits over 2.2 innings.
The Commodores return to action Tuesday night at Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m.