Nashville, Tenn. – No. 2 Vanderbilt held off a late Lipscomb rally to beat the Bisons 4-3 Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (24-5) entered the ninth inning with a two-run lead but reliever Matt Ruppenthal surrendered a leadoff single and issued a walk to put the tying run aboard. Ben Bowden was called upon to preserve the lead and the lefty did just that to record his team-leading fifth save. Bowden quickly recorded the first out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. A groundout to Tyler Campbell produced the second out of the inning but brought the Bisons (16-13) within a run with the tying run 90 feet away at third base. Bowden finished off the win in style, striking out Zeke Dodson to end the game.
Vanderbilt scored all the runs the team needed in the third inning when a Walker Grisanti single to right field started the rally. A hit batter and a Ro Coleman sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position. Jeren Kendall made it 2-0 Commodores, lining a double over the left fielder’s head before coming into score on Bryan Reynolds’ single to left. Reynolds’ aggressive base running cashed in the fourth run of the inning as the junior went first to third on a groundout to third base, drawing an errant throw from the first baseman to allow Reynolds to score.
Freshman Patrick Raby earned the win in his first start since March 15. The right-hander turned in three scoreless innings with five strikeouts while allowing no walks and only a first inning single to pick up his fourth win of the year. Junior John Kilichowski made his season debut for the Dores, striking out one and walking one in one inning of relief. Freshman Matt McGarry turned in a clean inning in his first action since February 28.
Lipscomb starter Adam Stewart took the loss allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits across three innings. Michael Gigliotti led the Bisons’ offense with a single and two runs scored.
The Commodores return to the road beginning Thursday night at No. 15 LSU on SEC Network.