Carson Fulmer tossed eight shutout innings and struck out a career-high 12 batters in leading the Commodores to a 9-0 win over Tennessee in the opening game of a three-game series on Friday night at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt improved to 21-5 on the season and 6-1 in the SEC, while the Volunteers fell to 10-12, 1-6 in league play.
The Vanderbilt junior, who garnered his fourth win of the season (4-1), was at the peak of his game Friday, allowing only five hits, striking out 12, and walking only three on 114 total pitches. Vanderbilt gave Volunteer starter Bret Marks his third loss of the season (2-3) and touched Tennessee's number one starter with six earned runs, a career worst.
Freshman Ryan Johnson pitched the ninth inning and retired three straight Volunteers to close out the game.
The bulk of the Commodores' offense came in the fourth, when Vanderbilt plated four runs, and the sixth, when the Commodores sent across another four runs.
Zander Wiel garnered the Commodores' first hit of the game with one out in the fourth and advanced to second on an error by Marks, and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Bryan Reynolds then delivered a two-out dribbler through the middle with the infield in to extend his hitting streak to 11 games to give Vanderbilt a 1-0 lead. After a stolen base by Reynolds, Will Toffey reached on a walk, and then a Tyler Campbell double down the right-field line scored Reynolds and Toffey. Jeren Kendall then singled through the right side to drive in Campbell to end the scoring in the inning to give Fulmer and the Commodores a commanding 4-0 lead. Vanderbilt sent eight runners to the plate in the inning.
The Commodores added four more runs in the sixth on two hits and a Tennessee error, with Vanderbilt scoring on a bases-loaded walk to Kendall, which scored Reynolds, and then added two more runs on a throwing error by Volunteer third baseman Brett Langhorne. Vanderbilt capped scoring in the inning after Kendall came home on a Rhett Wiseman groundout to short.
Vanderbilt then added an insurance run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Campbell to center, which scored Wiel.
Campbell and Toffey led Vanderbilt with two-hit performances, with Campbell driving in a game-high three runs. Wiel, Reynolds, Campbell, and Toffey each scored two runs.
The two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. CT. The game will air on the SEC Network.